Cooking aubergines on a gas top is one of those thing you can't believe you've never done before. It's well easy, and a great way to cook them that avoid using a load of oil. You stick them over a naked gas flame, rotate occasionally and after about fifteen minutes you've some beautifully soft and giving aubergines ready for baba ganoush, or in this case soup. This Ottolenghi recipe (from his first book) is extremely simple. All you need is:
- plenty of aubergine
- some cream
- some stock
- lots of lemon
- a bit of basil
Meantime, fry the other half of your aubergines, cubed, in some olive oil. When they are soft combine all the aubergines and top up with some stock. Cook this for thirty minutes. When it seems done season, squeeze loads of lemon juice in, top off with a lick of cream (off the boil so it doesn't curdle) and chuck on a few basic leaves.
Very easy. Also very tasty, though the soup has a delicate appeal that wasn't immediately evident. It was consumed alongside the green pancakes of wonder, and such was our delight in them that the soup was over-shadowed. However, once reassessed after a few more spoons it was judged positively. It's quite light and simple - there is just the one vegetable in it - but the mix of smoke from the grill, sharpness from the lemon and richness from the cream was just the ticket with a bit of toasted pitta.