Creamy Aubergine and Tomato Soup

This soup is of Indonesian origin. Aubergines are a popular vegetable throughout Southeast Asia. ‘Eggplant’, as they are called in the USA, derive from the white-skinned egg-shaped variety common in India. In this recipe, tomatoes (a relatively recent addition) are combined with coconut milk (a traditional ingredient) in a vegetable stock to create a nutritious soup that is hearty without being heavy.

Ingredients

  • 350 g (12 oz) aubergine
  • 225 g (8 oz) fresh or tinned tomatoes
  • 100 g (4 oz) onions
  • 1 fresh chilli, seeded
  • 900 ml ( pints) vegetable stock
  • 450 ml (15 fl oz) fresh or tinned coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons oil, preferably groundnut
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

Method

Peel and cut the aubergine into 1 cm (½ in) cubes. If you are using fresh tomatoes, peel, seed and cut them into 2.5 cm (1 in) cubes. If you are using tinned tomatoes, cut them into small chunks. Finely chop the onion and chilli.

Bring the stock and coconut milk to simmering point in a large pan. While simmering, heat a wok or large frying-pan and add the oil. When hot, put in the onion, garlic, chilli and aubergine and stir-fry over high heat for about 4 minutes until nicely browned. Drain on kitchen paper, then add to the soup. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes.

,