Ratatouille and Pasta Soup

Eggplant

One of the most attractive of vegetables, eggplant comes in an amazing variety of colors and shapes. It can be large and bulbous, thin, and finger-like or even small and round. The colors range from deep purple to green or white and sometimes they are striped. Look for a glossy wrinkle-free skin and firm, not hard flesh. Eggplant has a wide range of health benefits. It is a good source of dietary fiber and rich in B1, B6, and potassium. Furthermore, eggplant peels are contain an potent antioxidant nasunin.

Ingredients

I medium eggplant, chopped

3 tbsp olive oil

1 large red onion, chopped

1 large red pepper, chopped

1 large green pepper, chopped

3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced

3 zucchini, sliced

2 13oz cans crushed tomatoes

1 tbsp dried oregano

1 tbsp dried thyme

1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes

4 cups vegetable stock

1/2 cup fusilli or pasta of choice

Parmesan shavings for serving

fresh chopped parsley for serving

Directions

1. Chop the eggplant. To remove any bitterness spread the eggplant pieces out in a colander and sprinkle generously with salt. Let it stand for 20 minutes and then rinse and pat dry.

2. Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onions over medium heat for 10 minutes or until they are soft and golden. Add the peppers, garlic, zucchini and eggplant and stir fry for 5 minutes.

3. Add the tomato, herbs and vegetable stock to the pan. Bring to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Add the pasta and cook for another 15 minutes or until the pasta is tender.

Serve with shavings of Parmesan and parsley. Really good with Italian bread.

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