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Aubergine and chunky vegetable curry soup

A pan of vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, aubergine, tomatoes, etc.) along with brinjal pickle.

Patak’s brinjal pickle (now called aubergine pickle) has been a firm favourite for many a year (leftover roast chicken & brinjal pickle sandwich for supper is just the best!) and I’ve long meant to try it in a warming winter curry or soup. When a good friend mentioned that he puts a dollop of mango chutney in his chickpea curry, I came home and made this for supper. Verdict? A delicious, warming comfort food, not too expensive and a great way to use up leftover veg.

Ingredients (4 generous portions)

  • Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large (200g) red or white onions, sliced or diced
  • 2-3 medium sweet potatoes (or old potatoes if you prefer)
  • 4 thick carrots, cut into chunks
  • One small cauliflower, florets broken up (or half a large one)
  • 400g cherry tomatoes (or a couple of tins of chopped tomatoes)
  • 2 aubergines (eggplants), diced
  • ~200g frozen peas
  • ~2 pints of stock, vegetable or chicken
  • Half a 315g jar of Patak’s brinjal (aubergine) pickle
  • About 2 teaspoons each of ground coriander, ground cumin, coriander leaf, garam masala
  • Half a dozen shakes of Worcestershire sauce
  • Tablespoon tomato purée
  • Seasoning

Method

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil and fry the onions on a medium heat until soft and starting to caramelise (about 15-20 minutes).
  2. Add the potatoes, carrots and cauliflower and cook for a few minutes then add the tomatoes and aubergine, cook for a another couple of minutes.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients (brinjal pickle, spices, worcestershire sauce, peas and purée, then seasoning.
  4. Pour the stock over, bring to the boil then reduce to a low-medium heat and simmer for about an hour until all the vegetables are cooked and the liquid thickened.
  5. Serve with warm naans or crusty bread.

Notes

  • Double up on quantities and store in the fridge or freezer. It’s even nicer reheated.
  • Just about any vegetables, especially root, work well with this – celeriac, turnips, swede, cabbage, leeks, etc. and it’s a great way to use up straggling leftover vegetables before doing the weekly shop.
  • If you don’t want to be tied to the cooker you could preheat the oven to a moderate temperature (180C/350F/Gas 4), use an ovenproof pan then cook for about an hour after adding the stock.
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