|Pastel on Colorfix|
|Pastel on Colorfix|
Today, I worked on some landscape compositions for two large commissions for a new hospital in Hillsboro, Oregon. I did the sketches in pastel to find my way. I'll typically work in pastel first because it is that "home" for me. I worked through several variations, considering many factors; size and proportion of the final piece, composition, color swatches that were provided and a forest theme. Hospitals don't want fall as the feel it reminds folks of the end of life, they don't want too much of a pathway, as this could suggest the end of life, they want uplifting colors and values. So, considering all this and still painting a painting that I really want to paint and will be excited about and proud of is a challenge.
Then soup. I've been really into making soup when I've been home and had a recipe for Roasted Eggplant soup that I really wanted to try. We've been making some absolutely great soups, but this one might be the best one so far. It's got a great flavor with just a hint of mint and pepper. I got this from a Williams-Sonoma Soup cookbook that I've had for ages. I used 1/2 & 1/2 instead of heavy cream. I used two garlic rather than one in the original recipe and I was pretty liberal with the pepper, tasting as I went. Enjoy!
Roasted Eggplant Soup with Mint
1 large eggplant
2 TB butter
1 medium yellow onion finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 TB finely chopped fresh mine
1 cup 1/2 & 1/2
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375
Put the eggplant in a baking dish and puncture the skin several times with a fork. Roast in the oven, turning occasionally, until the skins are evenly browned and deeply wrinkled, 1-11/2 hrs. Let stand at room tepm. until cool enough to handle, then peel.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over med. heart. Add the onion and the garlic and saute' until golden, 3-5 minutes. Add the eggplant, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and saute' 2-3 minutes more. Add the stock and the mint and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.
In small batches, puree' the soup in a food mill. Return to the pan and stir in the cream and gently heat through over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 4-6