“Moroccans never start a meal with soup,” says Mourad Lahlou. “Instead, they serve seven little salads, including an eggplant puree called zaalouk, which is often eaten with a lot of bread. This soup has the flavors of those traditional salads, but it looks and feels lighter and fresher.”
Slideshow:Great Vegetarian Soups
2 cups half-and-half
One 3-ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
6 garlic cloves, peeled
2 large eggplants (about 1 1/2 pounds each), halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup frozen baby peas, thawed
2 large radishes, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped preserved lemon peel
How to Make It
In a large saucepan, combine the half-and-half with the Parmigiano-Reggiano rind and garlic and bring to a simmer. Cover and let stand off the heat for 1 hour. Strain and discard the solids. Return the half-and-half to the saucepan.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450°. Brush the cut sides of the eggplants with the olive oil and place cut side down on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until tender.
Scoop the eggplant flesh into a blender and puree until smooth. Strain the puree through a fine sieve into the saucepan with the cream. Stir in the lemon juice and peas and season with salt. Heat until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Ladle the soup into cups, top with the radishes and preserved lemon peel and serve.
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