Zuppa di Melanzana e Salsiccia

Every Friday before I hit the Farmer's Market on Saturday morning I check the veggie bin to see what I need to put on the list to pick up this week. There sat a lonely eggplant and red onion I hadn't used this past week. I was going to make Roasted Eggplant Spread Tortilla Pizzas for dinner but I decided to experiment and turn it into a soup instead. OMG It turned out great. Slightly chunky and full of flavor. Hope you like it.

Shelly's Roasted Eggplant and Sausage Soup

1 large Eggplant (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and diced into 2 inch cubes
1 large Red Onion, cut into chunks
1 whole Garlic, roasted*
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
2 Sweet Italian Sausage Links (meat removed from casings)
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon Tomato Paste
1 can (14.5 oz.) Chopped Tomatoes
3 cups Chicken Stock

*Roast garlic head in foil or a garlic baker using this method.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss onion and eggplant with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in oven for 50 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking time. Saute sausage meat till no longer pink. Set aside.

In a large pot place roasted veggies, roasted garlic, chopped tomatoes, Italian seasoning, paste, and stock. Blend with a groovy cool immersion blender or in batches with a pain in the arse regular blender till slightly chunky. Add sausage back to pot. Add more salt & pepper to taste. Cook for 30 minutes on low.

Top with crumbled ricotta salata or goat cheese.