Green and Aubergine Soup

Spring Greens and Aubergine Soup, with organic beans and new potatoes

Spring Greens and Aubergine Soup

Couldn’t quite believe it when my broadband connection went back to normal earlier. An update, presumably, has been downloading since Sunday past, snarling up an already slow broadband to that of an extremely slow narrow – when able to connect at all. Which, in a round about sense, is a tenuous segueway (I’m using the damned word even if it doesn’t exist!) to this post. As I’ve been testing out and developing desserts, and having to do the necessary tasting off, my system got to the stage by midweek I was almost nibbling greens in the vegetable aisle like a littl’ bunny, in one of the local stores. Well, I waited until I got home at least. So! As my system can’t do with lots of sugary stuff I had to stuff my face, so to speak, with lots of legumes and those veritably healthy veg. That tend to look like they should really only be fed to cattle. Spring greens. Someone’s gotta love ‘em.

Spring Greens and Aubergine Soup

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 x medium aubergine/eggplant, washed, cut in half, then cut into strips lengthways, then sliced crossways into chunks. Add them to a large suitable container, grind sea salt (about 10 grinds) and cover with cold water. Place a lid or weight to submerge them completely and soak for at least 30 minutes, preferably 1 hour
  • olive oil
  • 200g (7.055 oz) x onions, halved, peeled, trimmed, sliced from the root end to what was the stem end, then turned and sliced crossways into small dice
  • 2 x dried bay leaves
  • 1 x green finger chilli (Scoville heat rating: 50,000), washed and kept whole
  • 3 – 4 x organic garlic cloves, trimmed and peeled
  • 500ml (16.91 fl oz) x cold water + extra if needed
  • 1 x organic vegetable stock cube
  • about 400g (14.11 oz) x new potatoes, scrubbed and halved
  • 1 x pack Spring greens, large outer leaves cut out and kept for stock, the hearts washed and shredded
  • 1 x 400g or 240g drained weight (14.11 or8.466 oz drained) can organic mixed beans that includes cannellini, pinto and red kidney beans, drained and well rinsed
  • seasoning, both freshly ground sea salt and black pepper

Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • After draining and rinsing the aubergine chunks squeeze out as much excess water as possible. I did this with my hands rather than using a very clean t-towel (one that has been boiled). Using a large heavy-based saucepan or pan/skillet put on electric heat No 3 (out of 6). When pan is hot add a little oil and add the aubergine. Shake the pan if necessary to prevent the aubergine from sticking. Continue to cook until nicely golden all over, reducing heat when necessary to No 1. This can take up to an hour to get them really nicely soft, as they shouldn’t have any bite left to them at all.
  • Put a large heavy-based saucepan on heat No 3. When onions are ready and the pan is hot pour in enough oil to cover its base. Add the bay leaf with the chilli and add the onions, stirring frequently. When they start to turn a pale golden reduce heat to No 2.
  • In the meantime prep both the potatoes and greens. When the onions are nicely soft and pale golden in colour pour in the water with the stock cube. Up the heat to No 4, add the potatoes, plonk on a lid on pan and bring to boiling point. Reduce heat to No 2 and simmer until the potatoes are nearly cooked. Add the greens toward the end of cooking time as they really only need about 5 minutes to cook through.
  • Add the well rinsed beans to the saucepan along with the aubergine, rinsing out its saucepan with some of the stock to grab all of that flavour. Up the heat again and bring the soup to boiling point and simmer until needed.
  • Remove the bay leaves and chilli before serving.

All photographs within (Todas las fotografías dentro de) Kitschnflavours:
All rights reserved (© Todos los derechos reservados) – Copyright © Johnny Hepburn

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19 responses to “Green and Aubergine Soup

  1. Nibbling greens like a bunny, ha! The soup sounds lovely, after 2 weeks in Germany I’m also in a veges phase.

    • That’s happened to me after visiting Germany! The last time wasn’t as bad. In Nuremberg I was able to get a great selection of differing foods. And even in the airport (outside off Frankfurt) I had the most amazing cheese and potato soup. Seriously, in an airport café. And the quality was great. Huh, talking of which if you’re looking for excellent quality do a trip to Austria. I was quite simply astounded on several occasions :)

      • We nearly went to Austria, but as usual had too little time, too many places to visit. Thanks for the recommendation, definitely keep it in mind for the next trip.

        • To be fair I was there for only four days, two each in Graz and Vienna. Unfortunately, when I arrived in the latter it was only then I realised Euro ’08 was starting that weekend! Which is why I cut my trip to Austria short. Shame, as I had a wonderful, affordable hotel in Vienna hardly two blocks from the museum district and less than that from a fabulous market with lots of differing cafés. Next time :)

  2. Really like this. And our eggplant (aubergine) plant is getting large in the garden and we will hopefully be having fresh eggplant in the next month! Saving this recipe to use when we harvest!
    Kenley

    • How wonderful! I’ve never tasted freshly grown aubergine before – bet it tastes even better. It really has to be one of my favourite veg. Even if it takes that long to soak and then cook. Don’t care, as the flavour never lets me down :)

  3. Fed to cattle? This does not look like cattle food to me…

  4. Sounds wonderful. I always get frustrated when it seems I’m faster than the internet connection. Drives me round the bend!

    • This was surprisingly good. And very easy to make, apart from getting the aubergine absolutely soft to the bite. It’s flavour is so worth the extra time involved.
      - It’s so frustrating when updates start downloading as I’ve no control over their download speed. It’s a sad case of having to wait, for days sometimes, for them to load.

  5. So happy to see a soup post from you today! We have rain falling and I sure could use a bowl of this right now. Spring greens and eggplant sound lovely together. And I especially like your beautiful bowl too.

    • I’d never thought of teeming Spring greens and aubergine together before. I quite often overlook Spring greens when I’m buying veg as they’re only available in large packs of two. Think I’ll probably buy them more often.
      - Isn’t that bowl just great! I bought it a couple of years ago for £1 in what are known as £1 shops here :) No other way to explain that. Anyway, it’s actually a wide brimmed tea cup that I only ever use as a prop. And, even then, I haven’t used it in ages.

  6. Pingback: Week in Review: Gandalf, Soups, and The Life of the Pumpkin | Green Door Hospitality

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