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Chilled Ratatouille Champagne Soup




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Chilled Ratatouille Champagne Soup

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7 tablespoons olive oil
One eggplant (1 1/4 pounds), peeled
and coarsely chopped
2 medium zucchini, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
2 1/4 cups chicken stock
2 cups (1 1/2 pounds) peeled,
seeded chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 cups Champagne

For the garnish:
1/4 cup cold heavy cream
8 cooked shrimp
Fresh chives

Heat 6 tablespoons oil in a heavy, large skillet over medium heat.
Add eggplant and sauté 10 minutes. Add zucchini and sauté 5 minutes.
Transfer mixture to a medium pot. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon
olive oil in same skillet. Add bell peppers and onion and sauté until
tender, about 10 minutes.  Stir in garlic, parsley, thyme, and basil and
cook 2 minutes longer. Add to eggplant mixture in pot. Add chicken
stock, champagne and tomatoes to the pot. Simmer until vegetables
are very tender, about 40 minutes.
Working in batches, purée the soup in blender until smooth. Transfer
the soup to a bowl.  Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hours.
(Can be prepared 1 day ahead.)
Whip cream to soft peaks. Fold into chilled soup. Season to taste with
salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and garnish with shrimp, sprinkle
with chives. Serves 8.

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