Smokiness with a zing — that’s what you should expect in a serving of Turkish-Style Roasted Eggplant Soup. Creamy and slightly lemony, it’s excellent as an appetizer or as a light meal on its own!
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I had this soup on my first visit to Istanbul, back when I was still clueless about what Turkish cuisine and flavors are all about.
Coming back to Stockholm, the only roasted eggplant soup recipe that I can find was from New York Times. I tried that, but there was still something missing.
Finally, after tinkering with it a bit — this is as close as I can get to that Istanbul dish without asking the chef.
I hope you like it as much as I do!
- Olive oil – go for the mild, fruity ones.
- Eggplant – you can use European or Asian eggplants, whichever is available where you reside.
- Garlic – minced or finely chopped.
- Onion – you can also chop them finely if you prefer.
- Za’atar – a Mediterranean spice blend that contains a mix of dried herbs, sumac, and toasted sesame seeds.
- Salt & ground black pepper
- Stock – I generally use vegetable stock, but you can also use chicken stock.
- Yogurt – do not use any flavored ones; stick to the plain one for this soup. I generally use plain Greek yogurt.
- Lemon – fresh lemon juice kicks up the base flavor of this eggplant soup.
The sumac (in the za’atar) gives this dish its ‘zingy’ flavor, further elevated by the lemon juice.
Start by preheating the oven to 225°C (425°F).
Use a knife to create cuts in each eggplant.
Drizzle with about one and a half tablespoon of olive oil (photo 1).
Place eggplants in the oven for thirty minutes, then set aside to cool.
Once they’re cool enough, cut each roasted eggplant into half and scoop (or scrape) the insides for the soup.
Using a medium-sized saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
Add garlic and onion and cook until onion turned soft.
Add za’atar, salt, and pepper (photo 2).
Mix to combine, then add the scooped roasted eggplants (photo 3).
Pour the stock (photo 4).
Cover with a lid, bring to a boil, then simmer for about ten minutes.
Add yogurt and mix to combine (photo 5).
Use an immersion hand blender to puree the eggplant soup (photo 6).
Add lemon juice, mix and bring to a slow boil.
Transfer into bowls and serve with a drizzle of olive oil and za’atar.
- Do not forget to create openings in the eggplants. It helps in cooking them evenly.
- You can use a stand blender if you don’t have an immersion hand blender on hand. Just make sure you give the soup enough time to cool before transferring in the stand blender.
- Do not add all the lemon juice right away. Start with a tablespoon and adjust the taste (and seasoning) accordingly.
- Feel free to strain the pureed soup if you want a smoother texture. I do that sometimes, but I generally leave it as it is.
Do you want to try a traditional Turkish recipe? Then head straight to Turkish Celeriac Soup!
Or if you are looking for more eggplant recipes, then you might like these posts:
Turkish-Style Roasted Eggplant Soup
Prepare the Eggplants:
- Preheat your oven to 225°C (425°F).
- Use a knife to make random cuts into each eggplant.
- Drizzle eggplants with 1 & 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Place them in the oven for about 30 minutes, then let cool.
- Once they're cool enough to handle, cut each eggplant in half, then scoop (or scrape) the insides for the soup.
Prepare the Soup:
- Heat olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan.
- Add garlic and onion and cook until onion turned soft.
- Add za'atar, salt, and ground pepper.
- Mix, then add the scooped roasted eggplants and stock.
- Cover the pan with a lid, bring to a boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Add yogurt and mix to combine.
- Use an immersion blender to puree the roasted eggplants.
- Add lemon juice, taste, and adjust seasoning.
- Bring to a slow boil, then take the pan off the heat.
- Transfer eggplant soup into bowls and serve with a drizzle of olive oil and za'atar.
- Make sure you create cuts in the eggplants. It helps in cooking them evenly.
- A stand blender can be used as an alternative for an immersion hand blender; give the soup enough time to cool before transferring in the stand blender.
- Do not add all the lemon juice in one go. Start with a tablespoon and adjust accordingly, together with the rest of the seasoning.
- You can strain the pureed eggplant soup if you are not happy with its texture. I’ve done that a couple of times, but I usually just leave it as it is.
- Adapted from New York Times Cooking (by David Tanis)