Interesting and delicious! Also, vegan and gluten free. And, for our friends with food allergies, it is nut and soy free!
2 medium eggplants, washed and cut in half lengthwise
2 medium onions, diced
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 tsp olive oil
4 cups vegetable stock (I used Imagine brand’s “No Chicken Broth”)
1/4 tsp Herbs de Provence (a mixture of thyme, oregano, lavender, basil, rosemary and marjoram — possibly plus others as well. I used a blend I purchased at the bulk herb counter at My Organic Market. It’s nice to purchase your dried herbs and spices this way because you can just get as much as you need for a recipe, and the herbs and spices are fresh)
1 bay leaf
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2c cultured coconut yogurt
3 red bell peppers, washed and cut into halves, seeds removed
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
sea salt to taste
Instructions for the soup:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cover a baking sheet with foil and lightly oil it. Place your eggplant halves cut side down onto the foil and bake until very soft — 20 to 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can char the eggplants on a grill or a griddle. Set aside to cool.
Once cool enough to touch, scoop out the cooked interior, discarding the skin.
In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium high heat and add the diced onions and garlic. Cook until translucent — about 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Turn the heat down if the onions are getting brown. Add the broth, the eggplant, bay leaf and herbs de provence and bring to a boil.
Turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes.
Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Remove the bay leaf and puree in a blender or Vitamix (or you can use an immersion blender right in the pot).
Stir in the coconut yogurt.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with red pepper swirl and fresh chopped parsley.
Instructions for the Red Pepper Swirl:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the peppers on a baking sheet lined with foil and lightly coated with olive oil (you can use olive oil cooking spray if you like)
Roast the peppers for 45 minutes or until the skins get wrinkled and slightly charred around the edges. Turn the pan every 15 minutes or so while they are roasting.
When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel over a bowl, allowing the juices to collect in the bowl. Discard the skins.
Combine the peppers, juices, and balsamic vinegar in a blender and process until completely smooth.
Season to taste with salt.