CREAM OF EGGPLANT AND SAFFRON SOUP

CREAM OF EGGPLANT AND SAFFRON SOUP

Elegant, delicious, light, creamy and fragrant!

Makes 9-1/2 cups

2 T. margarine

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

1/2 jumbo sweet onion, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch squares

12 oz. fresh mushrooms, quartered

salt and pepper

1 med. eggplant, unpeeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes

1 lg. green pepper, cored and cut into 1/2 inch squares

1 med. zucchini, approx. 6 inch long, cut in half from tip to tip, then crosswise into 3/16 inch half rounds

1 t. salt

sev. dashes freshly ground black pepper

4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

1 t. dried basil

1 t. dried tarragon

28 oz. can whole tomatoes with liquid, cut into chunks

3 T. flour

3 c. non-dairy liquid creamer

10-3/4 oz. can tomato soup

a couple T. coarsely diced fresh cilantro

pinch of saffron

salt to taste

In large soup pot, over medium heat, melt margarine and oil. Add onion and mushrooms, salt and pepper to taste, then sauté till partially wilted.

Add eggplant and green pepper and sauté till eggplant becomes soft and darkened. Add zucchini, salt, black pepper, garlic, basil, tarragon and tomatoes. Stir well, and keep cooking.

Combine flour with 3/4 cup non-dairy creamer in container with tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously till well blended. Add remaining creamer to pot, then add flour mixture, stirring continuously till thoroughly incorporated.

Add tomato soup, cilantro and saffron. Stir well and cook till thickened, then reduce heat and cook, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. Salt to taste and serve.

Notes: When cubing the eggplant be sure to keep cubes relatively small. The larger the cube the longer it takes to cook thoroughly at the expense of all the other ingredients. Before adding any liquid to this dish, the eggplant should already be ready to eat.

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