Creole Eggplant Soup
From an old Creole recipe, this unusual soup was a favorite discovery on a trip to New Orleans many years ago. It’s believed that the soup originated locally due to the abundance of the eggplant crop in the region.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 medium celery stalks, finely diced
- 2 to 3 clove garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and finely diced
- 1 large eggplant (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and finely diced
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil, or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 cup rice milk, or as needed
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion, celery, and garlic and sauté over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until all are golden. Add a small amount of water if the mixture begins to seem dry. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring, for another minute or so.
Add the potato and eggplant dice to the soup pot along with enough water to cover all but about an inch of the vegetables, leaving them above the water line. Bring to a simmer, stir well, then cover and simmer gently until the potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes.
Add the basil and thyme and simmer another 25 minutes. Stir in the rice milk, more or less as needed to achieve a medium-thick consistency. Season with salt and pepper, then simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes over very low heat. Stir in the parsley and serve.