1 garlic bulb 1 day-old baguette, cut into ½” cubes
2 yellow onions, peeled and cut into eighths 2 large eggplants, peeled and cut into 1” cubes
Olive oil, as needed 5-6 cups chicken broth
Seasoning Mix (à la Tony Chachere), to taste ½ slivered fresh basil, plus more for garnish
Preheat oven to 400oF. Arrange garlic and onions on a baking sheet, brush with oil, and season with Seasoning Mix. Bake until tender and golden, 40-45 minutes. On another baking sheet, arrange bread cubes, brush with oil, and season with Seasoning Mix. Bake until golden, 10-12 minutes; set aside. In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, pour in ¼” oil. When hot, sauté eggplant in small batches, stirring occasionally, until evenly browned, 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a plate; repeat with remaining eggplant. Return eggplant to pot along with broth and roasted onions, bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low. Slice roasted garlic crosswise, squeeze garlic paste into soup and discard skins. Simmer soup, stirring occasionally, 15-20 minutes. With a stick blender, puree soup until smooth. Set a chinois (or other strainer) over a heatproof bowl; with a pestle, push soup through chinois to extract all of the liquid; discard solids. Return soup to pot, season with Seasoning Mix, and stir in ½ cup basil. Service in warmed soup bowls, garnished with croutons and remaining basil. Serves 6.
from Jill Caillouet