Red Curried Eggplant Soup

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1 medium eggplant
1 teaspoon salt
1 large red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and
3 cups stock or canned vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
yogurt and croutons for garnish, optional

1. Remove stem ends from eggplant and cut into 1-inch pieces. Put eggplant into a colander, toss with salt, and set aside to drain for 30 minutes.

2. In a large pot over medium heat, sauté onion in oil until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add bell pepper, curry powder, cinnamon, and cloves, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more.

3. With your hands, squeeze the moisture from the eggplant. Add eggplant, tomatoes, and stock to the pot, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, partially covered, for 40 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

4. Puree soup, in batches, in a food processor or blender. Return to pan, salt and pepper to taste, and reheat gently.

Makes 6 servings.

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