(egg)Plant yourself down for some stew...
I made this hearty stew for my mother's retirement dinner. The recipe is adapted from Veganomicon. There are a lot of moving parts to get the timing right, but a lot of the time is inactive. It was well worth the effort- perfect winter weather crowd pleaser. I served it with a green salad. This recipe dishes up 4-5 servings. Whenever I am cooking something like this I keep vegetable broth on hand to add to the soup pot (in place of more oil) in case things look like they are drying up too much. I added it to the ingredient list, although you may or may not need it. I ended up using just a few splashes.
Fun fact: Did you know that ground coriander and cilantro are one and the same?
Time: About 1 hour, 20 minutes
What you need:
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (roughly)
- 1 large eggplant
- 4 large cloves garlic
- 2 red bell peppers, stems and seeds removed
- 1 white onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon unrefined sea salt or Himalayan salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes (unsalted, organic variety is best)
- 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- Vegetable broth (low sodium)
Other props: two large, rimmed baking sheets, baking parchment paper, large pot, paper bag.
What you do:
- Preheat oven to 450 F
- Half the eggplant lengthwise and then slice into 1/2 inch slices
- Line two rimmed baking sheets with baking parchment and brush the parchment with a small amount of the coconut oil. If you have a pastry brush, great. I just used a paper towel.
- Lay the eggplant slices on the baking sheets and brush or the tops with coconut oil. Leave a little room on one pan for the peppers.
- Brush the outsides of the peppers with coconut oil and place them cut side down on the pan.
- Remove the papery skins from the garlic and place all of the cloves on one of the pans as well.
- Roast both pans in the oven for about 25 minutes, then remove them from the oven and place the red peppers in a paper bag and close up the bag (so that the pepper skins steam off). You can remove the garlic from the pans at this point as well as set aside.
- Flip the eggplant pieces (which should be starting to brown) on the pan, brush a little oil on any pieces that look dry and shove back in the oven for an additional 15 minutes.
- Preheat a large soup pot over medium-high heat on the stovetop.
- Salute the onions in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned. I added a splash of vegetable broth after a few minutes.
- The eggplant should be finishing up right around the time you are done with the onions, so remove that from the oven and set aside.
- Squeeze each roasted garlic clove into the soup pot and sauté for another 2 minutes.
- Add the white wine and herbs and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Add tomatoes, tearing up each with your hands before adding to the pot. Also add the remaining juice from the tomato can.
- Add the eggplant to the pot and mix well- crushing up that eggplant.
- Remove the peppers fro the bag and peel away the skin. No biggie if you can't get it all.
- Cut the peppers into bite-sized pieces and add to the soup pot along with he rinsed chickpeas.
- Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- It's done! Spoon, chew, feel the warmth, repeat.