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Rebecca's Recipe of the Month: Tomato and Eggplant Soup

Who doesn't love The Barefoot Contessa? This easy and fresh soup is one of Ina's classic recipes from her cookbook Cook Like a Pro.


I had to make one more pot of this warm and comforting soup on this cloudy day before Spring warms up too much here in Colorado.

This big batch soup recipe serves 6.


Good olive oil

4½ cups (½-inch-diced) unpeeled eggplant (1 pound)

2 cups chopped yellow onion (2 onions)

2 cups chopped fennel bulb

2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)

3 cups good vegetable broth

1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano

2 teaspoons whole dried fennel seeds

1½ teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, preferably San Marzano

Freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)

Heat ½ cup olive oil in a medium (10 to 11-inch) pot or Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset, over medium heat. Add the eggplant and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender. Add a little more olive oil if the eggplant is sticking.

Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pot, add the onions and fennel, and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender but not browned. Add the garlic and cook for one minute, stirring often. Add the chicken stock, crushed tomatoes, fennel seeds, oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon salt, and 2 teaspoons black pepper. Pour the can of whole tomatoes, including the liquid, into a food processor and pulse until the tomatoes are coarsely chopped. Add the tomatoes and the liquid to the pot. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasonings. Serve hot in large bowls sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.

Copyright 2018, Cook Like a Pro, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved

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