True Eggplant

For the last couple of months or so, Monday nights have been known as True Blood nights. We gather at a friend's house, eat delicious eggplant-centric dishes, play with an adorable kitten and gradually work our way through 3 seasons of vampire flavoured ridiculousness. It's a pretty great tradition. I'm not sure how the eggplant came into it. But after a few weeks, having a True Blood night without eggplant seemed as odd as a TB episode without blood. Or boobs. Or Eric.

So I've been racking up the eggplant recipes. And making them up, as needs be. One of them worked out pretty dang well, so I thought I'd share it with you here.

Eggplant and Lentil Soup (serves 5)

(adapted from an amazing lentil soup recipe sent to me by this cupcake queen)

This soup is my new favourite thing ever. It's simple to make, warm, spicy, nourishing, and fucking delicious. Serve it with some crusty wholemeal bread and red wine, and you have yourselves the perfect accompaniment to some tasty vampire melodrama.

What you need:

2 cloves of garlic
1 large eggplant
2 tins of tomato
1 tin of brown lentils. Make it 2 if you really love your lentils
1/2 tbsp of butter (vegan if you use oil)
3 cups veggie stock
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes (more or less to taste)
What you need to do:

Wash and then dice the eggplant into bite size pieces, about 2cm square.

Steam over boiling water for 5 - 8 minutes, covered and turning occasionally. Remove when tender, but still firm. You'll want to taste, not just poke.

Fry the garlic in the butter for a couple of minutes, and then add the drained lentils.

Saute for a couple minutes longer, and then add the tinned tomatoes, stock and spices.

Throw in the eggplant, and cook together for about ten minutes

Then enjoy with a little bit of this:

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