Caramelized Fennel and Lemon Soup with Japanese Eggplant

By • November 10, 2015 0 Comments

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Author Notes: This soup balances the tart flavor of meyer lemons and the bitterness of the fennel with the earthy sweetness of glazed eggplant for a perfectly balanced bowl. -http://35squarefeet.com/35squarefeet

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Serves 3

Caramelized Fennel and Lemon Soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, stalks and fronds removed, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • pepper, to taste
  • juice from one Meyer lemon
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (15 oz.) can cannellini beans, rinsed and dried
  • 3 teaspoons fresh fennel seed

Japanese Eggplant

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon nerigoma
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 8 Japanese eggplants, cleaned and split in half
  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium pot. Add the fennel and onion and cook over medium high heat until the vegetables start to brown, approximately 10 minutes. Add the sugar, salt and pepper and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture achieves a deep caramel hue, which should take an additional 2 minutes. Add the white wine and cook for 5 minutes, until most of the liquid in the pot has evaporated. Add the cannellini beans, Meyer lemon juice and vegetable broth, bring the mixture to a boil and reduce to a slow simmer.
  2. Whisk together the sugar, white wine and nerigoma and set aside. Brush the cut side of each eggplant with the vegetable oil until all of the oil has been absorbed by the eggplant. Heat a skillet over medium heat and place the eggplant cut side down. Cook about 3-4 minutes until the eggplant starts to brown. Flip the eggplant over and cook an additional 3-4 minutes or until done (you can test for doneness by squeezing the sides of the eggplant gently with tongs or your fingers, it should feel soft). While the eggplant is cooking spoon the wine and nerigoma mixture over the cut side of the eggplant. Once done, flip the eggplant over and cook for 30 seconds to one minute, to caramelize the glaze.
  3. To Serve: Divide the soup among three bowls. Top with the eggplant and 1 tsp. fresh fennel seeds.

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