I don't often think to include eggplant in a vegetable soup but its rich, meaty flesh absorbs flavours really well. This hearty soup is given a Middle Eastern twist with warming spices, yoghurt and harissa. Instead of, or as well as, silverbeet, you could use kale, cabbage or brussels sprouts.
2 celery stalks
1 large, or 2 medium, eggplant
750g silverbeet leaves, trimmed
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
pinch of cayenne
sea salt and pepper
1.2 litres water or vegetable stock, hot
4 tbsp yoghurt
2 tbsp harissa
Trim the leeks, wash well and finely slice the leeks and celery. Finely dice the carrots. Thickly slice the eggplant and cut into 1cm chunks. Wash and dry the silverbeet and roughly chop, discarding the thicker stalks.
Heat the oil in a pan and cook the leeks, celery and carrots for 5 minutes, tossing well. Add the tomato paste, cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper, then add the boiling water or stock, and bring back to the boil. Add the eggplant and simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
Add the silverbeet and cook for another 10 minutes or until tender.
Serve in warm bowls and top with yoghurt and harissa and an extra grind of black pepper.