Vietnamese Spicy Eggplant & Mint Soup

Submitted by Anita Elder


About the cook: I've been cooking and baking since I was 9, helping my mom make dinner. These days, I often adapt recipes that accommodate my husband's gluten allergy. I'm also finally comfortable enough to create something new from scratch that isn't from a recipe.

About the dish: I had a wonderful soup at Long’s Provencal Restaurant in downtown Seattle. It was so good, I knew I had to try to replicate it at home. I tried doing a search for it online, but no luck…so, I came up with my own recipe and it tastes pretty darn close to the one at the restaurant!



National Origin: Vietmanese

Serves: 4

Estimated Time: 1 to 2 Hours

Ingredients:

1 lb. pork belly, sliced thin
1 small onion, diced
1 chili pepper, minced
6 small eggplant (Asian variety), unpeeled & cut into 1″ chunks
5-6 Campari tomatoes, diced
4-5 cups vegetable stock
3 tbsp. fish sauce
1 tbsp. wheat-free tamari
1/2 cup mint, diced

Preparation:

Cut the pork belling into thin pieces that should be about an inch in size and no thicker than 1/4″ Marinate pork belly in 1 tbsp. of the fish sauce, salt and pepper for at least an hour.

In a Dutch oven or large pot, brown the pork belly in batches. Remove pork belly and set aside. In pork belly fat, saute onions until just starting to brown; remove and set aside.

Add eggplant and brown, stirring occasionally to get all pieces/sides (add some olive oil if pan is too dry). Add diced tomatoes, chili pepper, pork belly & onions back into the pot.

Add vegetable stock, fish sauce, tamari, and mint. Simmer 15-20 minutes, until eggplant is falling apart. Add black pepper to taste and serve.

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