Saturday, 7 February 2015

Mediterranean Aubergine Soup with Cheesy Pitta Wedges

Now here's a winter warmer.  It is from a book I have blogged about before; Nava Atlas's Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons.  Not all the recipes in it are vegan but the majority are and those that aren't can be easily adapted.  It is actually from the Spring section of the book but I think this flavoursome soupy stew packs a punch at any time of the year.  One of the serving suggestions was with Parmesan Pitta Wedges (one of the non vegan recipes in the book) so I took that idea and veganised it myself with what I had in the cupboard and fridge.  It was a lovely combo and definitely one that I will be making again.  In the meantime, I cannot recommend this book highly enough for one pot wonders!

Mediterranean Aubergine Soup (Nava Atlas)
Written in my usual summarised style!

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced (I actually only used one due to Phil's dislike of it!)
2 large celery stalks finely diced
5 cups water
2 medium aubergines peeled and cut into 1/2" dice (I didn't peel it though!)
2 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
2 teaspoons Italian Herb Mix (I used just oregano)
1 cup uncooked pasta shapes (smallish ones)
1/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Fry the onion, garlic and celery in the oil until golden.
Add the water, aubergine, tomatoes and herbs and simmer for about 45 minutes or until the aubergine is soft.
Meanwhile cook the pasta and once done, drain it and set aside.
Stir the pasta into the cooked aubergine mix along with the parsley, salt and pepper and allow to cook very gently for another 15 minutes before serving with the pitta wedges on the side.

Cheesy Pitta Wedges

Pitta breads
Nutritional yeast
Any other vegan cheese you fancy!

The measurements are not exact/non existent because a) I really can't remember what they were and b) it's easy to work it out for yourself!

Take pitta breads and cut them into wedges of your preferred size.  I sliced mine and inserted a little slice of vegan cheese inside because I was feeling decadent!  Place the wedges on a baking sheet.

Grind up a handful of cashews in a blender as fine or as chunky as you like.  Mix in a good spoonful or two of nutritional yeast, salt to taste and herbs if you wish. Sprinkle this mixture over the pitta wedges and then drizzle over a little olive oil. Bake at about 200 degrees C for about 10 minutes but do keep an eye on them to make sure they don't get too crispy.


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