Sunday, September 16, 2012

Roasted Eggplant and Black Lentil Soup Recipe




It’s hard to believe that it has been almost a year since our Kentucky Food Blogger group got together. We attempted all spring and summer, but busy schedules wouldn’t allow us to find a date that would work for more than a couple people. 

That changed this past Friday night with the help of Whole Foods Market in Lexington. We were invited out to attend a special edition of their Flights After 5 event. Flights After 5 is a Friday night get-together where 5 beer tastings are matched with 5 appetizers at stations throughout the store. Last Friday Kentucky beers were featured including two of my favorite breweries West Sixth and Lore Brewing



Several area bloggers joined the staff at Whole Foods as they told us a bit about the work that they do, and about the mission of the store. I will admit that I’m not a 100% Whole Foods shopper, but I do appreciate the products I buy there – grains from the bulk bins, my puffed kamut, and Ataulfo mangos, when they are in season.

I really like that on their website you can find Unacceptable Ingredients for Food and their Meat Animal Welfare Standards. That makes shopping easy. Through my work in agriculture, I’ve come across many local meat producers and produce farmers who supply Whole Foods. The combination of local support and global projects makes me a fan. We also learned that they price match with surrounding competitors, which explains why I’ve always felt that many things at Whole Foods aren’t any more expensive than they are at other area supermarkets. 

Along with a little education, good beer and snacks, and great company, we received every food bloggers favorite thing – a goodie bag! They kept our cooking in mind and filled it with several ingredients, perfect for putting together a few new recipes. I was happy to see black lentils in my bag. I’ve used their brand before, and I was excited to create something new with them. 


Baba ganoush was one of the appetizer offerings that night so I had eggplant on my mind. Lucky me, we just happen to still have eggplant from the garden. 

I had no idea what direction I would go with the soup, but the more I tasted it, the more I felt it needed some Indian influences, which ended up making it a lot like daal. (And I’m definitely not complaining.) Tahini and garam masala came to the rescue, and I added some crushed red pepper for heat. It turned out to be a great way to celebrate the start of comfort soup season!

Roasted Eggplant and Black Lentil Soup Recipe  

6 small eggplant (you need about 1 cup roasted pulp)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4-6 cups vegetable stock
2 tbsp tahini
1 cup black lentils
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp garam masala powder
¼ tsp crushed red pepper 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. If your eggplant is round, de-stem and cut each in half. Longer Japanese style can be roasted whole. Lightly coat with olive oil and spread in an even layer, cut side down, on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until pulp is very soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

In a soup pot, heat the olive oil and add the onion and garlic. Cook over medium to medium high until the onions begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the stock. (How much will depend on how thick you like your soup. You can reserve some to add later if needed.) Simmer for about 3 minutes.

Scoop out the cooled eggplant pulp and transfer it to the soup pot. Use an immersion blender to blend the eggplant, onions and garlic with the stock until smooth. 

Add the tahini, and bring the soup to a low boil. Stir in the lentils. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Add the salt, black pepper, garam masala and crushed red pepper. Add more or less of each to taste. Simmer for another minute or two and serve. Makes 4 to 6 servings.


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Disclosure:  Some products in this recipe were given to me free of charge from Whole Foods Market. I was not required to post about them and received no compensation for doing so. Thoughts here are my own. 

7 comments:

Christina @ Sweet Peas Kitchen said...

What a comforting fall soup! Looks super delicious! :)

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

very healthy soup!

Danielle said...

Looks great! I didn't get the lentils, I got red rice instead. I was excited about it because I've always wanted to cook with it, but never remembered to buy it. Good to see you again this weekend.

Fresh Local and Best said...

This soup looks delicious and I'm looking forward to trying the recipe. I've always struggled with eggplant recipes so this is a great find. Pinned it!

Velva said...

Anytime food bloggers gather, enjoy some tasty treat and get an education about organic store like Whole Foods-it had to be a good evening,

We are getting our first Whole Foods this year. WE are really psyched!

Black lentil soup rocks.

thanks.

TasteHongKong said...

Eggplants and sesame paste are my frequent foods, and I too enjoy lentils of Indian style. I adore how you put them together.

Eliana said...

This soup has delicious and comfort written all over it. I think it wants to give me a big hug.