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Indian Roasted Eggplant Soup

1/4 cup olive oil
2 medium eggplants
2 red bell peppers
3 tomatoes
sprinkling of salt and pepper

2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cayenne or red pepper flakes

1 3/4 cups reduced-fat coconut milk (14 oz. can)
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 to 3 cups water

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Lightly brush two baking sheets with
some of the olive oil.

Halve the eggplants and bell peppers lengthwise. Stem the tomatoes
and halve them crosswise. Place all of the vegetable halves cut
side up on the baking sheets. Brush the vegetables with the
remaining olive oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Roast
for about 45 minutes, until dark brown and soft or, for a smoky
flavor, even slightly charred. Remove from the oven and set aside
to cool.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet on medium heat, warm 2 teaspoons of
olive oil. Add the black mustard and cumin seeds and simmer until
they begin to pop. Reduce the heat to low and add the coriander,
cinnamon, cardamom, and cayenne or red pepper flakes. Stirring
constantly, heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until fragrant, taking care
not to burn the spices. Remove from the heat and set aside.

When the roasted vegetables are cool enough to handle, remove their
skins. In batches in a blender, puree the vegetables with the
coconut milk, salt, and enough water to make the soup the thickness
you like. Place the puree in a nonreactive soup pot and gently
heat. Stir in half of the reserved spice mixture and then add more
to taste.

Serves 6 - 8. Yields 9 cups


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