Eggplant is one of my absolute, most favourite foods to eat. The only time I don’t like them, is if in they’re hands of someone who doesn’t appreciate my deep purple pal, an butchers it into a slimy mess :( Fear not, for when Eggplant is in the hands of someone who knows what they’re doing, it becomes a dream. A tasty dream. A dream where all your tastebuds rejoice and go simultaneously crazy, because they know what awaits them. I might be a *tad* dramatic here, but really, I like eggplant that much. Probably has something to do with growing up with Greek cooking ;)

Sometimes though, it feels like I get in a rut with what to do with eggplant (no, I’m not a creative food genius. The only time I truly get creative with food is when its too late to go to the shops because it’s closed, and I have to see what I can make do with whatever I’ve found in the cupboard or fridge. Desperation is a good muse.) and it takes me forever to look up recipe. When a sudden craving for eggplant kicks in, it’s a joyous and solemn occassion. Joyous because – OMFG YAY EGGPLANT, and solemn because, it means I have to figure out what to do with it. Most eggplant dishes, at least for me, take AGES to prepare, so I tend to skip anything baked, or casseroled, or fried etc.  I keep forgetting about this recipe, because, well, I don’t make it that often :x Not because it’s bad, but because I’m lazy and will usually just make a pasta sauce with eggplant in it, as that is quick and satisfies the craving. Well, tonight I wanted to ditch the pasta, as I’ve had too much of it this week, so I remembered this soup, from the Veganomicon :) Suffice to say, this didn’t take me that long, around about an hour of actual cooking time, prep is extra of course. So I got my eggplant meal, and had it made in a not so annoying time span :D

This is the recipe from the Veganomicon. I urge you all to go out and buy a copy if you’re interested in vegan cookery, for whatever reason that may be. I purchased the Veganomicon for Mr D around 4-5 years ago as a Xmas present, so it’s going to be very reasonable in price. You’re probably going to be able to find it second hand for an even better price because it’s been out for a few years :)
Out of respect for the authors I will not publish their recipe on this blog. If you truly want to find it another way (a more cost effective way perhaps) there are means to do it. I won’t tell you them though.

So time for an unattractive personellietea food picture – oh hey that’s my specialty! :D Seriously, I need to get better at taking photos of food.

My thoughts, in dot point form (because you’ve already read a verbose introduction, and I want to give you guys a break ;) )

  • I feel that salting out / brining (just essentially cutting up the eggplant, putting paper towel in a colander or bowl, then sprinkling salt on top, mixing, then after 30 minutes, rinsing the eggplant) the eggplant is essential. It takes 30 minutes to do, but you can do it prior before cooking then just walk away. Brining the eggplant takes out the bitterness and also reduces the water content in the vegetable, so it will require less cooking time :) I used to almost practically drown eggplant in oil because I never used to brine it. Now that I brine it, I use MUCH less oil than I used to.
  • The recipe calls for adding extra salt to taste – I didn’t add that. I find that the stock I use is quite salty enough (I also used imitation chicken stock, if that’s of any consequence)
  • Natural peanut butter – use it for this recipe. Which is basically peanut butter with no added sugar, salt or vegetable oils. Just plain old peanut butter. I can’t guarantee what this would taste like if it’s a peanut butter with any extra additions.
  • I didn’t use peanut oil, because we didn’t have any. I used Rice Bran oil. Any light flavoured oil would work, I wouldn’t recommend olive oil though.
  • This gets more like a stew as it becomes thick. I like it this way, as the flavours are more concentrated. However, if you like it more thin in consistency, just lessen cooking time, or add in a little more stock or tomato juice (from canned tomatoes)

If you love curry flavours, you should definitely give this a taste. It’s so fabulous *_* (is obsessed with cumin) and something that is awesome for winter. Looking for low fat? This is not it. However, you know, you should eat this soup anyway. Just go for a massive walk the next day!

Now, go eat eggplant in some form this week. Make it good :x