I’m not an eggplant person, and most of the time I do everything I can to avoid them. But, the other day I saw a pretty purple one sitting so lonely at the grocery store that I picked it up and brought it home. It sat in my fridge for about a week before I decided what to do with it.
Roast it? Sure. Puree it? Yes, because I don’t want to know I’m eating it. Use it in a soup? That sounds about right. I know that roasting an eggplant will bring out a light umami flavor that pairs well with browned onions and earthy spices like cumin and chili powder. This soup is a fusion of modern flavors and rustic nostalgia of cold winter nights after a day of ice skating. Creamy and simple with complexity created by the combination of lentils, browned onions, and eggplant puree.
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 large yellow onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 14 oz full fat coconut milk (not coconut cream)
- 1 cup brown lentils
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbl soy sauce (can omit and use 2 total tsp salt instead)
- 4 Tbl cumin
- 1 tsp adobo chili powder (can substitute for smoked paprika)
- 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 4 carrots
- *Optional: dairy free sour cream, cilantro, green onion tops, toasted walnut
Preheat oven to 350 F
Slice eggplant longitudinally (AKA, in half the long way) and and place on baking sheet flesh side up. Cut carrots either coined or large chunks and place on same baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes.
*Another method to cook is to slice the eggplant into thick strips and roast at 320F for 20 min in an airfryer. Once cooled, cut the roasted eggplant into small chunks so that they blend smooth after boiling in the stock step of the recipe. I used both racks in my GoWise airfryer oven so that the eggplant strips had some space between.
Set carrots aside to be added to finished soup. Let eggplant cool before handling it. Scoop out as much flesh, and seeds, as possible without also scooping into the skin. You can also cut the eggplant, including the skin, and boil it all with the stock. Some think the skin adds bitterness; however, I haven’t found it to be bitter in this recipe.
In an 8 quart stock pot heat the vegetable stock to a boil. Lower to simmer and add lentils. Cover, and let cook for 20-30 minutes, until lentils are soft but still retain their shape. Cooking for too long will break them down too much. While the lentils are cooking begin the next step.
Peel and slice onions and garlic. You will be pureeing these so how you slice them isn’t important. Saute the onions and garlic over medium heat until browned but not burned. You may have to add some water as you saute so that they don’t burn. This browning process is important for the flavor of the soup, so don’t skip it. Will take 7-10 minutes. Add roasted eggplant, onions and garlic, coconut milk, salt, and soy sauce to blender, or use immersion blender, and puree for 2-3 minutes. This cream sauce should be completely pureed.
Once lentils are finished cooking add in the tomatoes, cumin chili powder, and bring to a simmer. Pour in the eggplant cream sauce and the carrots. Heat fully and serve!
This stew is best served with a dollop of dairy free sour cream and a few leaves of cilantro and green onion tops. You don’t want to overpower the stew with too much of these bright flavors, but they do offer a pleasant contrast to the earthy and warming flavors. Any additions will change the nutrient information provided below.
8 servings | Nutrient information provided using LoseIt! App
- 244 Calories per bowl
- 11.8 g Total fat
- 0 mg Cholesterol
- 665.5 mg Sodium
- 29.8 g Total Carbs: 9 g Fiber, 5.6 g Sugars
- 7 g Protein
Hand modeling provided by my 4 year old son. After his first bite he said, “I absolutely love this!” However, he did eat a raisin off the floor shortly after and said he liked that too.