A few days ago I was downstairs in the basement, attempting for the 100th time this year to get rid of some of the clutter that’s been bugging me for a quite some time. And once again, like I do every single time, I got stuck in the same place: the gigantic pile of old pictures. They’re like a magnet. Every time I’m down there I have to stop and look through them. And I’m not sure if it’s because I enjoy the memories or I just need an excuse to do something else other than cleaning… But either way, it doesn’t fail.
So I came across a bunch of pictures of when Lee and I first met. We were at our favorite Italian restaurant with my parents and Ruthy, who were here visiting. We just LOVED that place. Fresh, homemade pasta and tons of vegetarian options. And back then, that wasn’t so easy to find!
I started thinking about this roasted eggplant and tomato soup they served. I could almost taste it. It was just amazing. Light, sweet and smoky… So, so good.
All of the sudden, I got the biggest craving for it. Somewhat expected, considering my obsession with soup… So went up to the kitchen and found the basic ingredients I would need to prepare it: eggplant, canned tomatoes, almond milk and basil from my herb garden. And voila! I had my own version ready for dinner. Obviously not exactly the same as the original, but good enough to satisfy my craving
- Prep time: 5 minutes
- Cook time: 1 hour
- Ingredients (makes about 2 1/2 quarts):
- 2 medium size eggplants or 4 japanese eggplants, diced (we like the Japanese for this dish because it has less seeds)
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1- 12oz can tomato paste
- 1/3 cup water
- ½ cup fresh chopped basil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1- 28oz can crushed tomatoes
- 5 cups water
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 cups unsweetened plain almond milk (we use Silk Pure Almond)
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Arrange eggplant on a single layer. Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil on top, season with 1/8 teaspoon of salt and bake for 20-22 minutes until tender
- In the meantime, heat the remaining olive oil on a large non stick skillet. Add tomato paste and 1/3 cup of water and cook at low heat for about 10 minutes. Add crush garlic and continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes
- Add chopped basil, crushed tomatoes, water, baked eggplant and salt. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes
- Puree using an immersion blender (if you use a regular blender, make sure you let the soup cool first)
- Return soup to heat, add almond milk and simmer for another 10 minutes