We grow eggplant on our property, and we really enjoy this recipe of eggplant soup with spicy Italian sausage. It is terrific either as an appetizer or it is wonderful with a few slices of warm, homemade Bread with an Italian Flair / Pane Italiano and Roasted Elephant Garlic Spread with Olive Oil and Herbs (and you can access both of these recipes easily by clicking on those recipe titles).
It is important to have an immersion blender or food processor to prepare this soup.
1-pound of spicy Italian Sausage
3 tablespoons of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1½ tablespoons McCormick® Grill Mates® Montreal Steak Seasoning
2 tablespoons of dry Italian Seasoning
3-medium Eggplants, peeled and cut into ¼ inch cubes (about 9-10 cups)
4 Roma Tomatoes, chopped in ¼-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
2-3 White Onions, finely chopped (about 4 cups)
2 tablespoons of Butter
¼ cup of Shallots, finely chopped
6 cloves of Garlic, minced
2 cups of Heavy Whipping Cream
3 cups of Chicken Broth
Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper to taste
Chives, finely chopped, and Red Pepper Flakes for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place all of the cubes of eggplant, the Roma tomatoes, and the white onion in a large bowl, and toss it together with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the McCormick® Montreal Steak Seasoning, and the dry Italian seasoning. Once they are mixed, place the eggplant mixture on a baking sheet, and place it in the oven for about an hour. While the eggplant is in the oven, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the Italian sausage in a sauté pan, and cook them thoroughly. Remove the sausages from the heat and let them cool. Once they are cooled, place the sausage into a food processor and pulse them a few times, so that they appear like cooked, ground meat. Set this aside. Once the eggplant has cooked for an hour in the oven, remove it from the oven, and set it aside. In a stockpot, heat the butter, the shallots, and the garlic over a medium heat for a few minutes. Add the eggplant mixture to the stockpot along with the chicken broth. Cook them over a medium heat for about 20-30 minutes. Using an immersion blender, purée the soup until it is smooth. Add the whipping cream and the sausage and return it to the heat for a few minutes to heat it all the way through, adding salt and pepper to taste. Once it is hot, remove the soup from the stove, pour it into serving dishes, and garnish the soup with the chives and red pepper flakes.