October 20, 2008

Spicy Peanut Eggplant And Shallot Stew

by IsaChandra

Serves 6 – 8

This soup is very rich and comforting. Just imagine a tawny bowl brimming with eggplant, tomato bits and green bean goodness. I made it for my boyfriend/husband guy, since his favorite soup place stopped carrying his beloved chicken peanut soup. I’ve never had it but I suspect mine is even better, without the bird to boot.

Ingredients
1 lb. Eggplant, peeled, chopped in 1/2 inch cubes
1 tsp salt
4 oz. Shallots, peeled and sliced very thin
1/4 cup peanut oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 hot chili, seeded and minced
1” cube of ginger, peeled and minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/8-1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground tumeric
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 16 oz. Can roasted diced tomatoes w/ juice
5 cups water or light veggie broth
1/2 cup creamy or chunky natural peanut butter
6 oz green beans, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
2 T fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro, lightly packed
chopped roasted peanuts and cilantro leaves for garnish

Directions
In a large bowl or colander toss eggplant cubes with salt. Allow to sit of 30 minutes to soften, then gently rinse eggplant chunks with cold running water. Drain and set aside.

In a large stock pot heat 2 T peanut oil over medium high heat. Add shallots and fry, occasionally stirring, for about 20 minutes until very soft, browned and slightly caramelized. Scoop shallots out of pot and set aside.

Add 1 T of oil to pot and add eggplant, stirring to coat with oil. Stir and cook eggplant for 12-15 minutes until slightly tender. Remove eggplant from heat and set aside (I toss it in the same bowl with the shallots).

Add remaining 1 T of oil to the pot again, then add ginger and chile and fry for 30 seconds. Add ground cumin, coriander, tumeric and fry for another 30 second then add onion. Stir and fry till onion is just slightly soft and translucent, about 5-6 minutes. Add tomato paste, stir and fry mixture for 1 minute.

Pour diced tomatoes, water or broth, eggplant, string beans and shallots into pot with frying onion/spice mixture. Stir to combined and raise heat to medium high. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes, then reduce heat.

In a separate bowl stir peanut butter to combine any separated oils. Pour a ladleful of hot soup onto peanut butter. Stir peanut butter with soup till creamy and peanut butter is completely emulsified. Scrape peanut butter mixture into rest of simmering soup, stirring to combine.

Simmer soup on medium-low heat, covered, for 35-45 minutes or until eggplant is very tender. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro and lemon juice. Salt to taste after soup has cooled for at least half an hour. True to soup form, the taste improves when heated up the next day.



  • October 25, 2010 at 7:55 pm: Amanda

    Just made this and it is absolutely fantastic. Being a peanut butter fanatic, I added another 1/3 of a cup and it exceeded my expectations. Thanks again!

  • January 9, 2011 at 10:11 pm: Rachel

    I made this the other night, from my copy of “Veganomicon”, and it was amazing! My boyfriend loved it so much, he wants me to make it at least once a week! I think I’ll add more PB though, as I love it. Delicious served with jasmine rice.

  • January 16, 2011 at 11:16 pm: Esen

    This is SO good, I just made it. We added some cubed firm tofu for some protein, but I can imagine a can of garbanzos would be good too!
    Nice recipe.

  • February 25, 2011 at 11:39 pm: Muza

    One of my favourites ever – haven’t had the opportunity to taste the next-day awesomeness, though >< .

  • July 4, 2011 at 11:53 pm: LisaLisaLisa

    this looks and sounds so incredibly good :O could someone please tell me if it would make a huge difference if i would’t use a can of roasted tomatoes but a can of plain diced tomatoes? i don’t think canned roasted tomatoes are available in europe but i’d reeeeaaally like to taste this soup :) and if i use frozen green beans instead of fresh ones it won’t be necessary to boil the soup for this long, will it?

  • July 25, 2011 at 7:38 pm: Andrea

    This is a fantastic recipe. I couldn’t remember where I’d made it from, but managed to re-find it with a search. This time, I’m printing it.
    Lisa, I’m sure it would be just fine with diced tomatoes. And I, like most of us probably, use good frozen green beans (long ones, not the little shorties) in the stew and they are perfect. Still, give iit a good long time on the stove to let the flavors blend and the eggplant to be really soft.

  • August 17, 2011 at 4:39 pm: Mi

    so yum. I actually made this a soup and put more tomatoes and broth… Delish! Especially the next day :D

  • September 7, 2011 at 4:07 pm: Jes

    I’m normally a HUGE fan of the PPK recipes, but this one just didn’t measure up for me. Far too tomato-y (the 1/3 c. of tomato paste should have given it away), not enough spice, pretty bland. Really, all I can taste is tomato. I’m going to try to rescue the leftovers tonight. Sad face.

  • September 14, 2011 at 2:18 pm: Dorian

    If you don’t mind using another dish, there’s so much other prep going on that you could roast the canned tomatoes while you’re doing other things. I roasted a lot of fresh tomato for it because it’s that time of year.
    I admit I skipped the tomato paste, although I did add some pureed tomato for more liquid.
    I didn’t have a hot pepper on hand, so I added chilli powder and smoked paprika. I apologize that due to my scientific method of shaking/pinching I have no real concept of how much I used. It was pretty spicy. Also delicious.
    Not having any green beans on hand, I chopped up 1 red and 1 green pepper, so there was some nice color.
    Incredibly tasty recipe, thank you!

  • September 19, 2011 at 1:04 am: Gabrielle

    Made this for dinner tonight, and it is delicious! Warm, rich, creamy, spicy… It is a bit tricky, but well worth the effort! I added a bit of peanut butter, to make it thicker, used plain diced tomatoes and was liberal with the spices, and it tasted amazing. Thank you Isa! Can’t wait to reheat the leftovers at lunch tomorrow!

  • September 24, 2011 at 6:23 am: michele

    oh man, so delicious!!!!!!!!!!

  • October 18, 2011 at 7:31 am: Cathy

    The best. Warms from the inside out… Used the 1/4 tsp. ground cayenne…added some roasted pepper strips I had on hand and some garbonzo beans for protein. Wonderful; definitely a “keeper” recipe.

  • November 8, 2011 at 11:23 pm: Anne

    I made this and it was very tasty and interesting. However, I found the eggplant was overwhelmed by the flavours and just tasted like a mushy cube. I recently found a very similar recipe but the bulk of the stew is sweet potato instead. I highly recommend you all give it a try! Absolutely amazing. With some rice and chick peas added, its a full amazing meal.

  • January 9, 2012 at 2:12 pm: Victoria

    I made this on Saturday and loved it! Portions kept in the freezer makes me feel very happy. I didn’t cook the aubergine for quite so long and used less canned tomatoes (and as above had it with chickpeas and rice) and it was wonderful. Not too fatty, lovely and satisfying.

  • February 10, 2012 at 12:36 am: Jane

    YUMMY! Made this with Chinese eggplant, green pepper and halved the stock to keep it more gravy like to serve over brown jasmine rice. Oh, also added some garbanzo beans I had left over from making another recipe. Thanks for another delicious meal for the rotation!

  • March 11, 2012 at 8:33 am: Claingbot

    Just so everyone knows, this freezes fine. I took mine out of the freezer and put it strait in the microwave. It just needed to be stirred a couple of times whilst heating to keep it creamy.

  • April 13, 2012 at 3:28 pm: Kevin Novak

    Absolutely delicious. I have a couple of preparation notes, however. First, be careful with the frying/carmelization of the shallots. Because peanut oil heats so high, it is very easy to overcook your shallots. Mine were ready in 10 minutes. Same with the eggplant and onion/spice mixtures. Keep your heat at medium for these steps.

  • April 18, 2012 at 6:20 am: britt

    This is one my favorite recipes and has become a staple in my house…we call it “yellow soup” because the first time i made it there was something of a tumeric explosion in the kitchen that left yellow stains everyhere…Note to Self~do not attempt elaborate new recipes while intoxicated ….Sometimes I tweak it a bit by using zucchini or sweet potato when im ouf eggplant and its always deeeeelicious and even better the next day..cheers!

  • September 5, 2012 at 8:51 pm: Jessica

    Made this yesterday and it so yummy! Very seasonal recipe as well since eggplant and green beans are in season right now in the Midwest. I think I would add a little more peanut butter too since I like everything a little richer tasting. =) A delicious creation! Thank you!

  • November 7, 2012 at 11:16 pm: Jaime

    Im always hesitant to rinse eggplant and ive heard a lot on its effectiveness. thoughts? anyone have any problems?

  • March 15, 2013 at 1:33 pm: Dana

    My wife made this last night, and from the first spoonful, I knew that it was not only my favorite recipe we’ve tried from this site so far, but also the best soup I’ve EVER had. I’m not just saying that, either. I ate a full kilogram of it yesterday and it’s going to be hard not to down the rest today… And saying that the taste will be even better the next day… I don’t think that’s possible.

  • April 17, 2013 at 4:11 pm: Deirdre

    I made this this afternoon to counteract a wet April day. What an absolute treat. I barely resisted eating a second bowl though will quite likely cave in and eat one later. I used a tin of whole, unpeeled, unroasted Datterini tomatoes (Lidl) that I cut before hand to great delight. I replaced half the green beans with broccoli (as I can’t bare the idea of tomatoes without broccoli heads soaking it up). I also replaced the peanut oil with half coconut oil, half rapeseed oil. I’m normally very wary of American recipes that call for peanut butter (definitely have a much lower tolerance for the stuff) but without the peanut oil and using the 1/3 cup as indicated in the recipe, it was absolutely perfect. Warming, balanced and moreish, I’m more and more pleased to own Veganomicon everyday. Thank you for the recipe!

    • April 18, 2013 at 5:20 pm: IsaChandra

      Thanks, glad you loved it!

  • August 15, 2013 at 7:12 pm: Nathan

    Made this for a friend who claimed he didn’t like eggplant. Turns out he’s actually allergic to eggplant, just hasn’t had it since he was a kid so only remembered that he didn’t like it. Oops. More stew for me, sucka!

  • August 27, 2013 at 5:02 pm: Jacque

    This is absolutely my daughter’s favorite dish. Every year for her birthday she requests it for dinner. Afterwards she will take all the leftovers home with her. I make a double batch just to make sure there is some.

  • September 6, 2013 at 6:28 pm: Karen

    This was excellent! Thank you!

  • November 12, 2013 at 1:43 am: Lisa

    I wanted to like this dish so badly, but I just couldn’t. My boyfriend, on the other hand, LOVED this dish.

    I agree with Jes’ comment – I found it to be a bit bland and way too tomato-heavy. If I ever make it again, I’d add way more spice (I like it hot!), some tofu, less tomato, and more peanut butter.