Moroccan Eggplant Soup With Za'atar Croutons

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The Croutons:

8 slices of day-old baguette, cut on the diagonal about 1/4-inch thick

Extra virgin olive oil

Za'atar (see Note)

The Soup:

2 large globe eggplants, 1 1/4-1 1/2 pounds each, sliced 1/2-inch thick

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + oil for brushing eggplant

3 medium leeks, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced

5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, preferably lemon thyme

Approximately 1 1/2 quarts chicken stock

1/2 cup heavy cream

Salt and freshly ground white pepper

1/4 cup creme fraiche

1/2 teaspoon sumac

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