Creamy Spicy Eggplant Soup

1.5 lb eggplant

2 cups stock
1 tablespoon olive oil

3 medium cloves crushed garlic
2 cups chopped onion

1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons tahini

1/4 teaspoon cayenne (or more)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 cup freshly-minced parsley

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Slice eggplant in half lengthwise.  Lightly salt each open side, and let it sit about 15 minutes to sweat away its bitter juices.  Rinse, pat dry, and brush the cut sides with olive oil.  Bake 30-40 minutes face-down on a tray.  Cool until you can handle it.  Scoop out the pulp, discard the skins.  Saute the garlic and onions in 1 tablespoon olive oil with the salt until onions caramelized.  Grind in fresh black pepper.  Puree together (use a blender or food processor with steel blade) eggplant pulp, water or stock, and onion/garlic saute.  Put puree in saucepan cover and heat gently.  When soup is hot whisk in tahini, sour cream and cayenne until mixture is smooth.  Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.  Stir in parsley right before serving and top each bowl of soup with yogurt and minced tomatoes and peppers.  From subscriber Kelly Meerdink.

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