Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
- 2 pounds small firm eggplants
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups sliced white or yellow onion
- Salt and pepper
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- Pinch cayenne
- 6 cups chicken broth or mild vegetable broth
- 3 to 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon za’atar, available in Middle Eastern groceries
- 2 teaspoons chopped parsley
- Poke 2 or 3 holes in eggplants with a paring knife, then place on a baking sheet under hot broiler, about 2 inches from flame. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes, allowing skins to blacken and char. Turn and cook on other side until eggplants have softened completely, about 4 minutes more. Set aside to cool, then remove and discard skins and roughly chop eggplant flesh.
- Meanwhile, put 3 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy-bottomed stainless or enameled soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, season generously with salt and pepper, and cook until softened and beginning to color, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, cayenne and reserved eggplant and cook 1 minute more, then add broth and bring to a brisk simmer. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Check seasoning of broth and adjust salt.
- Purée soup in batches in blender. Strain through fine-meshed sieve and discard solid debris and seeds. Add 3 tablespoons lemon juice to puréed soup and taste again, adding more as necessary. Soup should be well seasoned and rather lemony.
- Mix lemon zest with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil for garnish. Ladle soup into small bowls, topping each bowl with 1 teaspoon lemon oil, 1/2 teaspoon za’atar and some chopped parsley. May be served hot or cold.
Author: Moosewood Collective
Serves: 4 to 6
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 3 cups coarsely chopped onions
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 cup sliced carrots
- 4 cups cubed sweet potatoes or butternut squash
- 3 cups cubed eggplant
- 1 green pepper, sliced in strips
- 4 cups sliced zucchini or summer squash
- 2 large tomatoes, chopped
- 1½ cups cooked garbanzo beans, liquid reserved
- pinch of saffron
- ¾ cup dried currants or ½ cup raisins
- Optional: 2 hard cooked eggs, chopped
- Optional: ½ cup coarsely chopped toasted almonds
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
In a stew pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the onions for 2 or 3 minutes.
Add the garlic and spices, stirring continuously.
Add the vegetables in the order given above, so that the starchier vegetables will cook the longest.
Sauté after the addition of each vegetable until its color deepens.
Stir in the garbanzo beans, the saffron, and the currants or raisins.
There should be some liquid at the bottom of the pot from the cooking vegetables. However, if the stew is dry, add ½ cup of tomato juice, liquid from the garbanzo beans, or water.
Cover the stew and simmer on low heat until all the vegetables are tender.
Add the chopped parsley just before serving.