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