Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Aubergine Soup with Soft, Squidgy Buffalo Mozzarella & Gremolata

You Can Call it Eggplant Soup, if you must...

picture photograph image how to make recipe for image eggplant aubergine mozzarella gremolata soup 2007 copyright of sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/

...but really, aubergine is one of my favourite words, especially when pronounced by a Frenchman, so I am sticking to it like honey. Aubergine is also one of my favourite colours. When I never get married, I'll be wearing an aubergine dress, mark my words.

Cook an aubergine, however, and it turns to sludge. Grey, brown, shitty-looking sludge. Pauvre aubergine: Its soup is more ugly than the ugliest soup you could ever imagine. But that doesn't mean you can't try and disguise it by veiling it with virginal white slices of tender mozzarella and throwing it a little "hope it'll be a winner at the dinner table" in the way of some gremolata confetti.

I pretty much stole this soup from Matthew Drennan's Simply Sensational Soup, but his version was as bland and dreary as the soup's tepid colour. I hope he doesn't mind me complaining. I'm British, so it's not easy for me to make a fuss. All it needed was some lemon juice and a decent amount of salt and it perked right up. Simple, yes. Sensational? I am not sure I would go quite that far, but the Frenchman, never overly generous with his praises, is a surprisingly vocal fan of it. We've made it more than once in the last two weeks.

My Sorta Recipe:

Serves 4-ish

Huge Aubergine weighing >= 1.0 lbs and <= 1.5 lbs, roughly cubed, skin on
1 large shallot, finely diced
1 clove garlic minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chicken stock (or alternative if you are a vegetarian)
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1/3 cup cream
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon salt
8 oz soft, squidgy, fresh buffalo mozzarella
1 portion gremolata recipe(1 clove garlic, zest 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon parsley)

-Put oil in a heavy pan over a low heat
-Add shallot and garlic and sautée slowly until soft and translucent
-Add aubergine cubes and continue to cook on low heat, about 45 minutes, stirring regularly, until all the pieces are soft and tender
-Add salt and chicken stock, turn heat to medium for 5 minutes, using the liquid to dislodge any little pieces of onion, garlic and aubergine stuck to the pan sides back into the mix
-Cool down a little before transferring to a mean-arsed blender where you should whip it's aubergine-arse for at least 3 minutes until it's as smooth as you can be bothered to wait for
-Return to the pan and stir in cream, chopped parsley and the juice of a lemon. Taste and adjust any of the above ingredients to your own personal preference
-Heat slowly over low heat until piping hot. Be careful - this soup will bubble and splutter and shoot eggplant splats all over your neat, tidy kitchen
-Finely cut an 8oz blob of premium mozzarella into thin slices
-Spoon the soup into four bowls, cover each surface with mozzarella and then sprinkle with gremolata and top off with freshly cracked black pepper.

You know what? Eff the aubergine. Whatever! Next time you make some soup, any old soup, just smother it with mozzarella and gremolata and it'll probably taste better.

*UPDATE* 9/21/2008
Made a great version of this soup with: 2 aubergines (about 28 ounces), 2 shallots, 2 garlic, 2 cups chicken broth, 2 cups water, juice one lemon and 1 tsp salt + 2 Tbsp chopped parsley. Didn't add the cream this time and I loved it still. (Mozzarella & gremolata still made an appearance on the surface, though!)

Local Resources
I bought all the ingredients from local farmers who I can't be arsed to mention individually by name today, like I usually do.

2006 | Look it up yourself, I can't be arsed.
2005 | Look it up yourself, I can't be arsed.
2004 | Look it up yourself, I can't be arsed.

© 2007 Sam Breach
Aubergine Soup with Soft, Squidgy Buffalo Mozzarella & Gremolata


  • At 16/10/07 22:21, Blogger purple goddess said…

    I actually DID get married in an aubergine dress, complete with fairy wings and a plastic tiara...

    And I love the word "squidgy"

    I think you have manifested perfection.. aubergine, mozz and gremolata all in one...

    **insert sound of heavenly choir**

  • At 16/10/07 22:26, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sounds incredible. I also prefer the word aubergine, but hardly anyone knows it by that name, so I often forget how much more I like that word.

    I have never tried making a soup out of aubergines, but I now feel that I should.

  • At 16/10/07 23:38, Blogger Dagny said…

    I firmly believe that cheese, like bacon, makes everything better.

  • At 16/10/07 23:48, Blogger Pille said…

    Doesn't look too bad to me - and it definitely sounds nice. I've never had aubergine soup, but I do eat various aubergine salads and spreads quite often. Time for a soup now:) (And yes, adding gremolata sounds like a great idea here!)

  • At 17/10/07 00:35, Blogger michael, claudia and sierra said…

    i posted my dinner 13 minutes before you posted this great soup and mine also had buffalo mozzarella and gremolata in the title too. but totally different dish. still, what are the odds?
    small blogosphere...

  • At 17/10/07 00:57, Blogger Sara, Ms Adventures in Italy said…

    When I taught English here in Italy, I immediately learned words like aubergine, courgette and other vocabulary differences :)

    That is an ugly soup, but I bet it tastes great. I like the use of the gremolata!

  • At 17/10/07 02:00, Blogger ChrisB said…

    Sounds good to me.

  • At 17/10/07 03:18, Blogger Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said…

    I love the word "aubergine", though it's not much used here in the US. I have three aubergines, purchased for something I never made, sitting on the kitchen counter just waiting for a plan. Soup -- what a wonderful idea.

  • At 17/10/07 04:46, Blogger Beccy said…

    This is definitely a case of eating with your eyes closed. Sounds yummy looks yukky...I'll bring my blindfold!

  • At 17/10/07 10:00, Blogger Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said…

    I'm off to the farmer's market right now, and I'll be sure and pick up an eggplant, er, aubergine (you're correct--a much lovelier word) so I can make this stupendous soup for dinner tonight.

  • At 17/10/07 11:15, Blogger Casey said…

    Many years ago I had aubergine soup (at Chez Panisse Cafe)in a white bowl, paired with roasted red pepper soup in a ying-yang pattern. Gorgeous, imo, and delicious.

  • At 17/10/07 11:48, Blogger muffintop said…

    Oh, Arsy McArse Arse!! Wonder what got into you.

    (I have two EGGPLANTS left on my effing bush. Might try this lovely, smooth concoction.)

  • At 18/10/07 07:05, Blogger Rachael Narins said…

    Allrighty then...
    Eff the aubergine indeed.

    Cheers my dear...thank you for sharing your angst...terribly funny stuff.

  • At 18/10/07 09:15, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    yum. enidd is into pea soup right now, but it might be time for a changehttp://www.enidd.com

  • At 18/10/07 09:52, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh my goodness, this makes me miss summer already. I went out to my garden last night to see if there happened to be any late-blooming eggplant hiding beneath a leaf (massive eggplant craving hit last night), but alas, rien. :-(

  • At 18/10/07 14:40, Blogger Hillary said…

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • At 18/10/07 14:42, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    That is a gorgeous and tasty sounding soup! I love the garnish and layer on top too.

  • At 20/10/07 11:59, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh, that is one ugly soup! You managed to veil it well though. It's quite an obstacle to take a picture of an ugly dish -- no matter how good it tastes. The lack of color, I reckon. but I take you're word the aubergine soup was delicious.

  • At 20/10/07 12:37, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I was honestly inspired to give the sad old aubergine a shot after reading your post! I live with an eggplant freak who would eat 5 gallons of your muddy colored soup if available!! I went a whole different route but the end quote...? "It needs cheese"... and really doesn't everything?

  • At 22/10/07 09:53, Blogger sallywrites said…

    "When I never get married"?

    Does this mean that maybe we may see you in an aubergine dress may???........

  • At 28/10/07 00:53, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The soups looks good to me, but what I'd like to know is how you got the soup to stay in the bowls at that angle without spilling out?

    ; )


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