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Chickpea and Grilled Eggplant Soup with Brie

Servings: 16

Ingredients:

2 cups dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed, sorted
3 large eggplants (about 1 pound each), halved
1/2 cup (4 ounces) olive oil, divided
8 ounces shallots, peeled, chopped
4 ounces garlic cloves, peeled, chopped
2 cups yellow onions, 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 (about 2 ounces) grated Wisconsin parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped

Cooking Directions:

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 1/4 cup 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 remaining 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; 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.

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