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Posts Tagged ‘soup’

I’ve never liked eggplant. (I’ve also never liked snorting raspberry jelly out my nose, but that’s a story for another day.) If I felt like playing the blame game, I could probably point the finger at my mother for my life-long eggplant aversion.

“It’s her fault!” I could proclaim to the judge and jury, throwing platefuls of moussaka and veggie stacks onto the courtroom floor à la Matt Preston in that awful choreographed Masterchef moment. “She never gave me eggplant as a child! Her allergies left me out in the cold, eggplant-wise!”

Roasted eggplants

Roasted eggplants, tinged blue by Smurf Kitchen.

Such an accusation would, however, be unfounded. My mother is also allergic to tomatoes, but you’ll never see me shying away from a puttanesca or a bouillabaisse. Nor can she eat peanuts, and yet we all know about my flavoured peanut butter addiction. (What? It’s better than being addicted to crack.)

In all honesty, I can’t tell you why I’ve never enjoyed eggplant. All I know is that its spongy texture gives me the heebie jeebies, and so I have avoided it as much as possible.

Roasted eggplants

Eggplant getting naked.

Several days ago, I decided it was high time to give eggplant another shot. To feel the fear and do it anyway. Sure, I avoided the textural issue by roasting the eggplants then pureeing them with spices and tahini, but you know what? This was a good move. I can now say that I quite enjoy eggplant… in a certain format. Time will tell how I fare when meeting it alone in a darkened alley. Or grilled in a panini. Whichever comes first.

Eggplant and Tahini Soup

The soup.

Roasted Eggplant and Tahini Soup

Serves 4 – adapted from The Australian Women’s Weekly Essential Soup Cookbook

  • 1.2kg whole eggplant
  • 1 tb olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 tsps ground cumin
  • 1.25 litres (5 cups) vegetable stock
  • 2 tb tahini
  • 2 tb lemon juice
  • natural yogurt, or vegan subsitute, to serve. And if you’re me, red chilli flakes and/or Tabasco, to serve.
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (375°F).
  2. Prick eggplants all over with a fork, then place on a greased oven tray and roast until soft, about 1 hour. Peel once the eggplants are cool enough to touch (we don’t want any burnt fingers now, do we?), then chop coarsely.
  3. Heat oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion, garlic, and cumin until onion is softened and mix is fragrant.  Add in eggplant and stock, bring to the boil, then simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
  4. Allow to cool 5-10 minutes, then blend or process until pureed. (Do this either in batches in a food processor/blender, or with a handheld blender stick thingamajig that goes directly into the pot. I loves me that thingamajig.)
  5. Reheat soup in saucepan with tahini and lemon juice. Divide between bowls and dollop with natural yogurt.

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I’ve shown you Smurf Kitchen, and Smurf Kitchen Bookshelves, and mentioned that EBH and I spent the first night in our new place watching Sex and the City with Dutch subtitles and thereby expanding our vocabulary. (Might I say that I have the most smuk readers/blog friends in the world?) 

The only thing missing from this First Night In equation is the story of what was nestled in the bowl in my lap during said television watching. (Which also, for the record, included some Kath & Kim. Hot diggity I’d forgotten how funny that show is*.) In other words, what was the delightful dinner that kept my hands and tummy warm (at least until I moved onto post-dinner chocolate and, after that, post-chocolate oatmeal and, after that, post-oatmeal strange-vegan-protein-bar-from-the-US-with-30%-of-my-daily-calcium-booyah)? 

Read on, Macduff. 

Kangaroo Quinoa Soup
Smurf Kitchen Soup!

Moroccan(ish) Kangaroo and Quinoa Soup

The “Moroccan(ish)” of the title emerges from the fact that I adapted this from a recipe for Moroccan Chicken and Couscous Soup, and upon writing the dish up realised that kangaroo isn’t particularly Moroccan. Or, indeed, any country/ethnicity/cuisine other than Australian.  

For a vegan/vegetarian version of this dish, I would (and plan to) sub in crumbled tempeh for the mince, or perhaps TVP. Seeing as I’ve never cooked with TVP, though, I’m less comfortable vouching for it. Kindof like how I can’t really vouch that almond butter tastes as good mixed with maple syrup and eaten with a spoon as does peanut butter, but I’m fairly certain it would. 

  • 1 tb olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 500g kangaroo mince (substitute with crumbled tempeh or reconstituted TVP for a vegan version)
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 4 cups (1L) reduced salt vegetable/chicken stock (or homemade, if you’re more organised than I am)
  • ½ c (90g) quinoa
  • 200g frozen spinach, defrosted (I defrosted mine in the microwave until it was less block-like)
  • as much coriander as you like, to serve

  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan (or whatever you liked to cook soup in) over medium-high heat, and sauté the onion with the spices until the onion has softened.
  2. Add the mince and cook until browned, breaking up with a wooden spoon to avoid clumping. (You know what? “Clumped meat” sounds really unappealing… although I do acknowledge that, for many reading this, even “meat” sounds unappealing.)
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, stock, quinoa, and spinach. Bring to the boil and then simmer for around 20 minutes, or until the quinoa is cooked to your liking. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Serve, garnished with coriander. (And, if you’re me, a bucketload more cracked black pepper and a healthy dose of Tabasco.)

* Note for my American readers: don’t you dare even mention the American version of Kath & Kim. That travesty was almost enough to make me renounce my love for your country. I would like to hunt down whoever thought Americanising Kath & Kim would work and pour curdled milk over his/her head.

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