White Bean, Eggplant and Herb Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a nonstick frying pan over a medium heat. Add onions, leeks, bay leaves, thyme, sage and 2 tablespoons stock. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onions and leeks are soft.
2 onions, sliced
2 leeks, sliced
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
6 cups stock - purchased or homemade
10 ounces canned lima (butter) beans, rinsed and drained
1 eggplant, finely diced
14 ounces canned tomatoes, undrained and mashed
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
freshly ground black pepper
2 Transfer onion mixture to a large saucepan. Add remaining stock and beans. Place over a high heat. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove bay leaves and discard. Cool slightly.
3 Place bean mixture in batches in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Return soup to a clean saucepan.
4 Heat remaining oil in a nonstick frying pan over a medium heat. Add eggplant. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until eggplant is brown. Stir in tomatoes and garlic. Bring to simmering, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until eggplant is tender.
5 Stir eggplant mixture, parsley, basil, chives and black pepper to taste into bean mixture. Place over a medium heat. Bring to simmering and simmer, stirring frequently, for 10-15 minutes or until soup boils and is heated through.
Cook's tip: This is a peasant-style soup and is a meal in itself. If you prefer a thinner soup add additional stock in step 5 to achieve the desired consistency.
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