Creamy Spicy Eggplant Soup
1 1/2 pounds (1 large) eggplant
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
2 cups watery vegetable stock (or 2 cups warm water with 1 tablespoon powdered vegetable stock)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 medium cloves crushed garlic
2 cups chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt (we recommend kosher cooking salt)
freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons tahini
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (more if you can handle it)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup freshly-minced parsley
chopped chives for garnish
a little yogurt
finely-minced tomato and bell pepper
Slice eggplant in half lengthwise. Lightly salt each open side, and let it sit about 15 minutes to sweat away its bitter juices. Rinse, pat dry, and brush the cut sides with olive oil. Bake 30-40 minutes face-down on a tray. Cool until you can handle it. Scoop out the pulp, discard the skins.
Sauté the garlic and onions in 1 tablespoon olive oil with the salt until onions caramelized. Grind in fresh black pepper.
Puree together (use a blender or food processor with steel blade) eggplant pulp, water or stock and onion/garlic sauté.
Put puree in saucepan cover and heat gently. When soup is hot whisk in tahini, sour cream and cayenne until mixture is smooth.
Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in parsley right before serving and top each bowl of soup with yogurt and minced tomatoes and peppers.
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