Consider the following examples:
“I’ve never been an Agatha Christie fan. Every book that I’ve read of hers was incredibly dry and predictable.” This statement is true but ineffective as the reader may have only read one Agatha Christie novel.
“I’m concerned with her management skills. I once saw her strike one of her employees.” The manager in question may have indeed struck a worker however, if it was to swipe away a menacing mosquito, then the context is misconstrued.
After failing a sobriety test, the middle-aged business man slurs, “but I’ve only had one margarita!” Assuming that the man was of average height and build, we need to question the size of the margarita. Perhaps it was served in a gallon bucket or perhaps there were other adult beverages consumed along with it.
And finally, when asked what type of soup we are having for dinner, the mother replies, “it is roasted vegetable soup.” Ah, yes, it is fully true yet it omits the specific details.
After my red velvet brownie incident, I learned that I needn’t be completely forthcoming with all recipe ingredients. After all, why spoil a perfectly good taste sensation by complicating it with details. Yes, I’m aware that this is at odds with my philosophy when buying food or eating out. I want to know what it is and where it came from. As the parent however, I uphold this duty for my children and believe that use of the occasional half truth may expand their palates and perhaps contribute to their greater well being.
While you may disagree with my tactics, you can’t fault the outcome of empty soup bowls.
Roasted Eggplant Soup
Adapted from Bon Appetit
- 2 medium tomatoes, halved
- 2 medium eggplant, halved lengthwise
- 1 large onion, halved
- 6 large garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 carrots
- 1 red pepper, halved and seeded
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- dash, cayenne
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup whipping cream
- goat cheese to garnish
Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange the vegetables on a large baking sheet. Brush or drizzle vegetables with oil then roast them for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and scoop eggplant from skin into a heavy, large saucepan or soup pot. Peel the red pepper. Add the rest of the vegetables, the cumin and cayenne and the broth and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until onion is very tender, about 45 minutes (mine took longer). Cool slightly.
Working in batches, puree soup in blender until it is as smooth as you’d like it to be. (Or, if you have an immersion blender, you can do this in the pot.) Back in the pot, add the cream and bring the soup back to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with goat cheese.
Context is everything. Don’t you agree?