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Onion-Eggplant Soup Provencale

From Athens Locally Grown

<p>This slow-cooker soup was a $50 winner in the Better Homes and Gardens recipes contest back when crockpots were a new idea and $50 was a lot of money! A nutritional bargain, in 97 calories and only 2 gram of fat, it packs 23% of the <span class="caps">RDA</span> for vitamin A and 25% of the <span class="caps">RDA</span> for vitamin C. Easily made vegan by using &#8220;not beef&#8221; bouillon in place of the meat-based version. It looks like a lot of ingredients, but they go together quickly. Fix the soup after breakfast, and by dinner time the aroma (and taste) will be mouth-watering!</p>
Source: Better Homes and Gardens monthly recipe contest (Entered by Janice Matthews)
Serves: 8-10 side-dish servings; 4-6 main dish servings

2 small zucchini or yellow squash
5 cups water
4 large onions
1 medium eggplant (about 1 lb.)
1 6-oz can tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine
4 tsp. instant beef bouillon granules or vegan equiv. equi
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped (or 1 T. dry, crushed)
1 T. olive oil
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper
1 clove garlic, minced

Step by Step Instructions
  1. Prepare the veggies: thinly slice the squash (halve any large pieces). Thinly slice the onions and separate them into rings. Peel and chop the eggplant. (Note: I don't peel them if they're young and tender.)
  2. Combine all ingredients in a 3 1/2 to 4 quart slow cooker (crockpot). Cover and cook on low heat setting for 10-12 hous, or until vegetables are tender.
  3. Optional but tasty: Sprinkle each serving with grated Parmesan cheese, and serve with French bread.