“Write once, live twice”.
Shaunaspoke those words last weekend at the Blogher Food conference in San Francisco. The conference brought together 300 food bloggers from around the world to mingle, share, and learn from one another.
Saturday after our morning session, Pete and the kids joined a group of us for a lunch-time excursion to the Ferry Building. Katie and Susan, two new friends, came along (if you haven’t checked out their blogs, you really must).
Saturday was my birthday, so I got to pick our lunch spot. As we walked through the ferry building I saw “Prather Ranch Meat Company“ selling grass-fed meat and organic trimmings. I got myself a huge preservative-free, hot dog, slathered it with mustard, piled on the sauerkraut, and smiled a happy birthday smile. Afterwards, we stopped by Miette for a few macarons and ate them on the pier while watching the Fleet Week airshow.
Saturday afternoon I attended the session entitled “Do you have a cookbook in you?” Before the session started, my daughters got to meet Shauna and Dorie. The girls were thrilled to meet two ladies they admire so much.
As I thought about this gathering of people who enjoy enjoy expressing themselves about food, I kept returning to the idea, “You write to live twice.” How wonderful for me to tell you about the weekend, and “live twice”.
After a wonderful (and tiring) trip, I needed some comfort food. This roasted eggplant soup was exactly what I was looking for. The vegetables are roasted to bring out their sweet flavor and then combined with chicken stock, cream and spices. It’s blended together to make a creamy, satisfying dinner.
My husband and kids are not huge eggplant fans, but they loved this soup. So if eggplant isn’t your favorite I encourage you to give this one a try. Serves 8. Adapted from Abundant Harvest1 (32-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained
1 tablespoon organic whole cane sugar or sucanat1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into large pieces
1 small onion, quartered
6 cloves garlic, not peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
basil, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350°F and adjust rack to middle position. Place tomatoes on an oiled baking sheet in an even layer. (This should take up about half of the baking sheet). Evenly sprinkle the tomatoes with whole cane sugar. Fill the rest of the baking sheet with the eggplant, onion, and garlic. Drizzle the olive oil over the eggplant, onion and garlic (rub the oil into the vegetables with your hands) and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast for about 45 minutes, until tender. When the vegetables are tender place them in a large stock pot (make sure and remove the skins from the garlic). Pour in the chicken broth and add the thyme. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 30 minutes until a knife can be inserted into the eggplant with little resistance. Puree the soup using a hand immersion blender or you can also blend until smooth in small batches in a blender. Stir cream into soup and season with salt and pepper if needed. Ladle into bowls and garnish with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.
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