1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 lb. zucchini, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 1/2 cups onions, sliced
2 large bell peppers, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 garlic cloves, chopped
salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups tomatoes, chopped
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup basil, chopped
I prepped the eggplant by putting the cubes into a colander, sprinkling with salt and leaving for about 30 minutes. This draws out some of the liquid and eliminates bitterness.
In a large dutch oven or soup pot, heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium high heat. Saute the zucchini and eggplant for about 10 minutes, until tender. Remove to a bowl.
Reduce the heat to medium, and add 2 Tablespoons olive oil. I had a minor setback because there was a few tiny pieces of eggplant that had stuck to the bottom of the pot and burned, so I had to clean the pot and start fresh. This was especially annoying because we were trying to finish dinner in time to go get ice cream. Priorities.
Add onions and cook for about 5 minutes until translucent. Add in peppers and garlic, salt and pepper, thyme and bay leaf. Cook for 1 minute more.
Return eggplant and zucchini to the pot, add tomatoes and basil, and cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes. Side note: the Wusthof tomato knife is amazing.
This would be excellent with fresh bread to soak up the juices.