Day 5 – Roast Eggplant and Capsicum Soup with Basil Oil

 

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Another belated posting. Last night’s dinner was from the recipe book Easy Vegan.

I’m not vegan, myself, vegan dishes are, by definition vegetarian. For this recipe you will need:

1 large eggplant

4 red capsicums

2 fresh thyme sprigs (I used about 1 tsp dried thyme – the supermarket was fresh out of fresh)

1 garlic bulb, sliced across the middle

2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 red onion, quartered

2c vegetable stock (this made a VERY thick soup, so I ended up adding about 1 cup more)

1.5c passata

A handful of fresh oregano (I used about a TBSP of dried)

Salt and pepper

And a few basil leaves to garnish.

For the basil oil you will also need:

2 Large handfuls of fresh basil

1 garlic clove

3/4c olive oil

salt and pepper.

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Start by making the oil. I simplified the recipe instructions by just putting all the ingredients in the blender together and whizzing until well blended. Set aside.

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Sandwich the thyme sprigs between the two halves of the garlic bulb, drizzle with oil and wrap in foil. Place in a roasting pan with the eggplant and capsicums and roast at 190’C for 35 mins.

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Remove the garlic from the pan, transfer the capsicums to a plastic bag or sealed container and set aside. Add the onions to the pan with the eggplant and return to the oven for about 20 more mins until the eggplant is soft. Set aside to cool.

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Once the capsicums and eggplant are cooled, peel off and discard the skin. Puree the vegetables and stock in batches, squeezing the cloves out of the garlic bulb and into the blender as you go. Transfer the puree to a saucepan and add the salt and pepper, oregano and passata and bring to a boil.

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Serve drizzled with the oil and a few basil leaves.

This made about 5 large serves, so it’s handy that the leftover basil oil will keep for a week in the refrigerator. This was a good soup as the eggplant adds a creamy texture and roasting and peeling the capsicum reduces the bitterness cooked capsicum can bring. Next time I make it, I’ll add some chilli flakes, to give it a bit of a bite.

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