Tomato Eggplant Soup w/Couscous - pareve

Posted by : Ruth Heiges

I am thoroughly enjoying Louise Fiszer's columns, alternate weeks, in the Jewish
Bulletin of Northern California.

She writes: "If once-trendy polenta or pasta has appeared too often on your
dinner party or luncheon menus, it's time to find a delicious and versatile

"What's new and on the cutting edge of today's fashionable cuisine? Couscous!
The very word evokes the dramatic and exotic, yet it is only ground semolina
made from hard wheat and it may be classified as a sort of pasta and used as

"Of course, couscous is not really new at all. It has been a staple food of
North Africa for centuries. However, it once took special equipment and a lot of
preparation time."

She goes on to write about quick-cooking couscous, both tiny-grained and what
she says "is an even more glamorous version available today that has turned the
heads of star chefs."

For a change, I don't have to long for what's on the shelves in the US. It turns
out this new gourmet treat <g> is Israeli couscous; even being called "pearl
pasta" on "upscale restaurant menus."

She writes: "This couscous is larger grained, resembling pearls. When cooked, it
yields a most unusual, palate-pleasing texture. Both types of couscous may be
used interchangeably in the following ..."


Serves 6 to 8

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 leek, white part only, thoroughly washed and chopped
2 small Japanese eggplants, peeled and diced
1 can tomatoes, chopped
1 Tablespoons tomato paste
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup couscous cooked 
salt and pepper
fresh basil leaves for garnish

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook leek and eggplant
until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, oregano and

Cook until bubbly, about 4 minutes. Add stock and simmer 30 minutes. Puree in a
food processor. Return to pot and stir in couscous. Reheat if necessary. Taste
for salt and pepper. Garnish with basil leaves.
March 5, 1999
(c) 1999, San Francisco Jewish Community Publications Inc., dba Jewish Bulletin
of Northern California.

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