Chick Pea And Grilled Eggplant Soup With Wisconsin Brie Print Email

2 cups garbanzo beans, rinsed, sorted
3 large eggplants (about 1 pound each), cut in half
1/2 cup (4 ounces) olive oil, divided
8 ounces shallots, peeled, chopped
4 ounces garlic cloves, peeled, chopped
2 cups yellow onions, peeled, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 quarts chicken stock
2 cups heavy cream
8 ounces Wisconsin Brie cheese, rind removed and cubed
1/2 cup grated Wisconsin Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped

Soak garbanzo beans in water overnight; drain. Place beans and 4 cups water in large pot. Bring to boil and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, until beans are tender. Drain; set aside.

Rub eggplant halves with 2 ounces olive oil; place on wood grill. Grill eggplant slowly until eggplant starts to soften. Remove from grill and cool. Remove skin and set eggplant aside.

Heat 2 ounces olive oil in large soup pot. Lightly sauté shallots, garlic, onions and celery until light brown. Add garbanzo beans and eggplant; continue cooking for about 2 minutes. Add chicken stock; simmer for 20 minutes. Add cream, Brie and Parmesan cheese; cook 2 minutes.

Remove from heat; season with black pepper, salt and basil. Reserve some beans for garnish. Purée soup mixture in blender until smooth. Strain through a chinois. Servings: 16 -Chef Kent Rathbun