On my recent holiday to Catalonia, I was graced with sublime cuisine. Sun injected fruit and veg, fresh fish and meat and flavours unique to the area. I was literally in food porn heaven.
Most of my summer holidays as a child were spent in north coast of Spain and I have always had the up most culinary respect for Spanish food. It’s rustic, uncomplicated and simply, gorgeous. The unpretentious quality about Catalonian cuisine is what makes it even more appealing. It doesn’t hide behind fine dining magic tricks to make up for the lack of flavour or character. Spanish food is full of heart, quality and sophistication. Just like this summer soup.
One evening, we dined out on the patio of the hotel we were saying in, San Roc. A relaxed but suave place that does really amazing breakfasts. Actually, the San Roc food is definitely not short in greatness. This evening, I was gagging for a chilled soup like gazpacho but not necessarily gazpacho. It was like 29c outside and I wasn’t exactly craving a heart warming dish.
There was this cold smoked aubergine soup on the menu and I was like ‘Im gonna have me some of that’. Just what I was craving. When It arrived I was intrigued to see how it tasted as I sometimes find aubergine a bit bitter. Luckily, this soup was silky, rich and ultimately delicious.
Returning back to London, I have been yearning for the Catalonian flavours. Reminiscing over my indulgences whilst over in Europe, I was definitely impressed with the aromatic tones of this smoked aubergine soup. Also, I noticed whilst out there, Catalonian food uses a lot of white bean and why not, it’s a great source of carbohydrate, cheap and super flavoursome. Fusing the mellow tones of white bean with savoury-sweet aubergine, you make a great foundation of a thick summer soup. To make this vegan soup even more special, celeriac is added to give a nutty undertone to it.
The secret to this soup is Hickory Liquid Smoke from Lazy Kettle. I purchased mine from Harvey Nichols. I really adore smokey flavoured things however I lack a smoker in my flat and I assume most of you are like me. When I stumbled upon this condiment, It was a no brainer that I had to purchase it. Means I could interject a hickory taste to my food, finally. If you don’t have any liquid smoke, replace with a little bit of smoked paprika and lots of black pepper to give that flame grilled kissed flavour.
Earthy white beans, nutty celeriac chunks, vegetable stock, garlic cloves and a few splashes of liquid smoke, all blitz together to make a chunky yet funky soup base. To give this summer soup a more depth, grilled aubergine and mushrooms are added on top. Sprinkle of parsley, salt and pepper and boom, you have a substantial Catalonian dish that will bring sunshine to your everyday life.
This grilled eggplant soup with white beans only uses on saucepan. Throw it all in, simmer and blitz. In half an hour you have vegan soup that is perfect for feed a crowd or the family – or just yourself for the week. Either way, this white bean soup recipe is a winner.
Delve into my Smoked White Bean, Celeriac & Aubergine Soup if you are in need of a slice of summer comforts. It’s a crowd pleaser and perfect if your craving something full-bodied yet healthy. it’s also:
- Summer perfect
- Cheap to make
- Crowd pleasing
- Super cool
- Dairy Free
- Easy as pie
This vegan eggplant soup serves 2 large bowls however could easily serve 4 small portions. Serve it up with my ultimate favourite side, Pa amb tomàquet aka bread with tomato.
If you do make this ‘Smoked White Bean, Celeriac & Aubergine Soup’ recipe or any similar dishes like ‘Beetroot, Tomato & Strawberry Chilled Soup’, ‘Mexican Mushroom Soup’ & ‘Vegan Miso Sweetcorn Soup’ then leave a comment or tag a photo on my Instagram or Twitter, Facebook. Cheers my food besties. Ciao for now!
- 2x 400g Tins White Butter Beans, Drained
- 2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 450g Celeriac, Peeled and Cubed
- 2 Tablespoon Hickory Liquid Smoke
- 1 Medium Aubergine, Halved & Cubed
- 3 Garlic Cubes, Peeled, Crushed & Diced
- 800g Vegetable Stock
- 6 Chestnut Mushrooms, Washed & Halved
- Handful of Fresh Parsley
- Salt & Pepper, To Taste
- In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil on a high heat and sauté your garlic.
- Once golden, add the beans and celeriac along with the vegetable stock. Reduce the heat to a medium-high temperature and simmer for 20 minutes or until the celeriac has become soft.
- Add all smoked liquid and season with salt and pepper and let it simmer for another 10 minutes.
- As the soup continues to simmer, heat another tablespoon of oil on a griddle pan on a high heat. Once smoking, add your slices of aubergine and mushroom. Griddle for 5 minutes on each side or until each side is evenly charred/cooked.
- Scoop generous of the soup into individual bowls and top off with slices of the aubergine and mushroom. Sprinkle with parsley if using and serve up with Pa amb tomàquet.