Creamy Potato and Roasted Eggplant Soup

[ingredients title=”Ingredients”]

  • Olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1tsp fresh or dry turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds or ground cumin
  • 1 whole eggplant
  • 4 peeled potatoes, halved and quatred
  • 1 medium sweet potato peeled and diced (same size as potato)
  • 3 tsp stock powder and 3 cups of warm water (or 3 cups of liquid stock)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 pieces of wholegrain bread
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Stick blender or large jug blender

[/ingredients]

[directions title=”Directions”]

  1. Keep eggplant whole and prick all over with a fork. Place in oven for 30-45 minutes on 200C, checking at 30 minutes. Your eggplant should come out very soft. When ready, use a tea towel to hold the eggplant, and then cut off the stalk. The eggplant should slip out of its skin or be easy to peel off. Discard the skin (okay if some skin gets in).
  2. While your eggplant is roasting, roughly chop garlic cloves and turmeric (if using fresh). Heat about 1tbs of oil in a large saucepan and add garlic, turmeric, onion and cumin. Keep stirring around pan until onions are translucent and aromatic.
  3.  Add both potatoes, stock and water. Liquid should just cover your vegetables, so depending on your saucepan size you may need more or less. Bring to the boil and then turn down to a rolling simmer until vegetables are nice and tender; about 20 minutes. You should be able to easily slide a fork through the potatoes.
  4. Once vegetables are cooked, turn off heat and remove pot from stove. Add roasted eggplant flesh. Carefully use a stick mixer to blend the soup in the pan until smooth and creamy. If you are using a blender, do it in small batches and make sure there is an air hole to let steam escape. I remember once experiencing what might happen if you do the opposite, and hot soup went flying everywhere – not a nice feeling. Once safely blended, cover soup and set aside.
  5. For the croutons: Line a baking tray with baking paper and lightly spray with oil. Grab your slices of bread and roughly pull apart into large crumbs, about 2-3cms. Coat in a tsp of olive oil or oil spray, season with salt and pepper, and toss with parsley. Place croutons under a medium-high grill for about 3-5 minutes. Give the pan a good shake after 2 minutes to ensure even cooking. When ready they should be golden and crunchy.
  6. Serve soup in nice deep bowls with croutons. You may add a dollop of coconut cream for extra creaminess. Garnish with a heap of croutons and serve.

[/directions]

It does not have to be cold and drizzly outside to enjoy this comforting creamy soup. In fact I felt most encouraged to make this dish on a humid overcast day in tropical North Queensland.

That is what I love about a good soup. It just brings back something warm and safe from your childhood. As a child, we always got excited when Mum or Nanna would serve up a big bowl of pumpkin soup with warm crunchy bread. Well this is my rendition on an all-time favourite, only this time it’s equipped with even more veggie goodness, and every bite comes with a crunchy crouton.

The beauty about this soup is how easy it is to substitute other vegetables. Use pumpkin instead of sweet potato, or just sweet potato instead of standard potatoes. Add some carrot and zucchini for even more nutrients; the options are endless. The best part about a good filling soup, is that it always pleases anyone’s belly, and is naturally vegan.

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