Spicy Peanut and Eggplant Soup

1 pound eggplant, peeled, chopped in 1/2-inch cubes
1 tsp salt, plus additional to season soup
5 large shallots, peeled and sliced very thinly
1/4 cup peanut oil
1 medium-size yellow onion, diced
1 hot chile, seeded and minced
1-inch cube fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/8 – 1/4 tsp ground cayenne (optional)
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 (16 oz) can roasted diced tomatoes with juice
5 cups water or vegetable broth
1/2 cup creamy or chunky natural peanut butter
1/2 pound green beans, fresh or frozen, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 tbs fresh lemon juice

Optional: 1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro, whole cilantro leaves, and chopped roasted peanuts

1. Toss eggplant cubes with salt. Allow to sit for 30 minutes (softening) and then gently rinse with cold water.

2. While eggplant is brining, saute shallots in oil for 20 minutes until slightly caramelized. Scoop out and set aside.

3. Add more oil and eggplant and cook for 12 to 15 minutes until tender. Transfer to same bowl as shallots.

4. Add remaining oil and add ginger and chile, frying for 30 seconds. Then add cumin, coriander, and turmeric, and fry for 30 seconds.

5. Add onions, frying until just translucent (5-6 minutes).

6. Add tomato paste and stir-fry for another minute.

7. Add diced tomatoes, water, eggplants, stringed beans, and shallots. Stir and boil for 5 minutes. Lower heat.

8. In a separate bowl, mix peanut butter until smooth. Add a ladleful of hot soup. Mix until creamy.

9. Stir into soup. Simmer, covered, for 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro and lemon juice. Salt to taste.

From the Veganomicon


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