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Easy Eggplant Soup

1 tb Butter
1 tb Olive oil
1 lb Ground beef -- crumbled
1 lg Onion -- chopped
1 lg Garlic clove -- minced
1 1/2 lb Eggplant (1 medium), unpeeled -- in 3/4-inch cubes
2 md Carrots -- shredded
1 Green pepper -- in 2-inch strips
28 oz Canned tomatoes, coarsely chopped -- liquid reserved
1 ts Salt
1 ts Sugar
1 ts Dried basil
1/2 ts Ground nutmeg
1/4 ts Fresh ground pepper 27 1/2 oz Regular-strength beef broth (2 cans)
1/2 c Chopped parsley
Salt -- to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese -- For garnish


In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, heat butter and oil and brown beef and onion. Add garlic, eggplant, carrots, and green pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until eggplant browns lightly.


Stir in tomatoes and their liquid, salt, sugar, basil, nutmeg, pepper, and broth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the eggplant is very tender (45 to 50 minutes).


Stir in parsley. Season with salt. Pass grated cheese at the table for garnish.


Makes 4 to 6 servings.


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