Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Spicy aubergine (eggplant) & peanut soup

From "Veganomicon. The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook" by Isa Chandra Moskowitz i Terry Hope Romero - America's best selling vegan chefs.

Serves 6-8

450g aubergines (eggplants), cut into 1cm cubes
1 tsp of salt + extra for seasoning
5 shallots, peeled and finely sliced
6 tbsp groundnut oil
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 hot chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2.5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1.5 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
approx. 100ml tomato pure
400ml tinned tomatoes in juice, chopped
approx. 1.2l vegetable stock
approx. 120ml natural peanut butter, smooth or chunky
approx. 200g green beans, fresh or frozen, cut into bite size pieces
2 tbsp lemon juice
chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) - optional
chopped roasted peanuts - optional

Toss the aubergine cubes with the tsp of salt in a large bowl or colander. Allow to sit 30 minutes to soften, then gently rinse the aubergine with cold running water and drain.

While the aubergine is being brined, preheat 2 tbsp of oil in a large pot and sauté the shallots for about 20 minutes until soft and lightly browned. Scoop the shallots out of the pot and set aside in a bowl.

Add 2 tbsp of oil to the pot and add the aubergine, stirring to coat with the oil. Cook the aubergine for 15 minutes until slightly tender. Transfer it to the same bowl as the shallots.

Add the remaining oil to the pot and allow it to heat, add the ginger, chilli, and fry for 30 seconds. Add cumin, coriander, turmeric, and fry for another 30 seconds, then add the onion. Stir and fry until onion is just slightly soft and translucent. Add the tomato pure and stir fry the mixture for another minute.

Add the diced tomatoes, stock, aubergine, shallots, beans to the pot, stir well and raise the heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes, then lower the heat and simmer.

In a separate bowl, stir the peanut butter with ladleful of hot soup. Stir it well with the soup until creamy and the peanut butter is completely emulsified. Scrape the peanut butter mixture into the rest of the simmering soup and stir to mix.

Simmer the soup over medium - low heat, covered for about 20 minutes, or until the aubergine is very tender. Remove from a heat, add lemon juice and stir. Allow to cool down slightly before seasoning with some more salt.

Serve with some chopped coriander and peanuts.

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