Thibodaux Service League, a local volunteer organization, published and sells a cookbook of Louisiana recipes called Louisiana Legacy to help raise money for the community as well as preserve local recipes — totally cool and up my alley.
And . . . I admit, I'm in Service League . . . and I'm actually on the executive board . . . and I write a food blog . . . and the cookbook's been out since the '80s and I just bought a copy . . . embarrassing, I know.
Anyway, I've now got my copy all bookmarked up just waiting to try some of these local recipes. I know I'm not a native, but I'm proud of the Louisiana food traditions and thankful to all those before me who kept this cuisine alive. And thankful for the Service League members who thought to collect, test and put their heritage in print. That's a beautiful thing.
So first up for me was cream of eggplant soup. And as it says at the bottom of the recipe, "This is a luxurious and different approach to soups, and certainly a 'what to do with all those eggplants?' when they are plentiful!"
And, as a matter of fact, I am overrun with eggplants . . . and have been for a month or so, but, as I mentioned in my last post, one of our air conditioners died and our house was hot for two weeks . . . and I wasn't adding any heat by lighting fires in my kitchen. But now it's fixed, the house is cool and we had soup for dinner.
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped celery
- 1 1/2 cups diced potatoes
- 2 small eggplants, peeled and diced
- 1 pinch of thyme
- 1 pinch of basil
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 1/2 qt chicken stock (or vegetable)
- 2 cups heavy cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a 5 quart saucepan or Dutch oven, sauté vegetables in melted butter until soft. Add seasonings. Cool until potatoes are done and ingredients begin to stick to the pan. Cool vegetables enough to be liquefied in a blender or food processor.* Blend to creamy consistency. Return mixture to saucepan. Add stock and simmer about 45 minutes until soup thickens. Remove from heat; stir in cream. Serve immediately.
- *I cooked the unprocessed vegetables in the stock for the 45 minutes and then used an immersion blender at the end before the cream.