Ratatouille SoupPosted on 15 Jul 2018
|Yield||approx. 2 litres soup|
|Total Time||50 minutes - 1 hour|
|Equipment||sheet pan, microplane grater, heavy-bottomed pot with lid, immersion blender|
Ratatouille is a classic Mediterranean vegetable stew that’s very flavourful and healthy, but I’m personally not a fan of the texture of eggplant, which is where my idea to adapt the stew into a soup came from.
Instead of only softening the vegetables in preparation for a braise, this recipe roasts them quite significantly to remove a lot of the moisture and brown them significantly and I also opt to use tomato paste instead of whole tomatoes.
Then, with addition of chicken or vegetable stock and a quick trip through a blender, this would-be ratatouille goes from a stew into a delicious soup.
|1 regular||eggplant/aubergine||or 2 if it’s the thinner Asian variety|
|2 cloves||garlic||or 1 tablespoon granulated garlic|
|3-4 tablespoons||olive oil||enough to aid in roasting|
|several twists||black pepper||—|
In the past, I roasted the bell pepper and onion too, but I found that it doesn’t survive as well in the oven for the long roast (you could do it separately but who has that sort of time?)
|2 tablespoons||olive oil||—|
|1||bell pepper||not a green one|
|2-3 tablespoons||tomato paste||—|
|3 cups/1 litre||stock||chicken or vegetable, take your preference|
|—||water||only for adjusting the consistency of the soup|
|—||heavy cream||optional, for finishing|
|—||grated Parmesan||optional, for finishing|
- Trim the ends of and slice the eggplant(s) and zucchini into rounds that are about ½ inch thick and put those in a large bowl.
- Grate the garlic cloves onto the rounds (or sprinkle with the granulated garlic) and liberally coat with olive oil. Toss to ensure everything is well-coated.
- Transfer all rounds to a foiled sheet pan (make sure they’re all flat on the pan) and season liberally with salt and black pepper.
- Roast in a 400°F oven for about 40 minutes until they are well-browned, almost charred. The rounds will shrink significantly in size as they dehydrate in the oven.
- When done, remove the from the oven and discard any pieces that got too dark or burnt. Set aside (or add to your soup base if you cooked that while these roasted).
- While your pot is warming over medium-high heat, peel, halve, and thinly slice the onion and the bell pepper (also de-seed the pepper).
- Add the olive oil to your pot and heat briefly. Then add the sliced onion and bell pepper and cook until quite soft and the onions begin to caramelize.
- Reduce the heat and add your tomato paste. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up any browned bits that may have formed on the bottom of the pot.
- Pour in your stock and add the roasted zucchini and eggplant. Blend with an immersion blender until quite smooth (you know, like a soup).
- If the soup is too thick at this point, add a bit of water. Taste to see if it your soup needs more salt or not (after you add water) and season appropriately.
- Cover and let simmer on low-heat for 5-10 minutes to let the flavours develop.
- Serve, top off with a splash of heavy cream and a grating of Parmesan cheese, if desired.