This article was originally published by The Mennonite

September recipe: French Vegetable Soup, Ratatouille

The Hungry Hounds is the food blog of Paul and Rebecca Shetler Fast, Country Representatives for Mennonite Central Committee in Haiti.  Learn more about MCC Haiti at their new blog:

This French vegetable soup, Ratatouille, is as rustic and delicious as it is healthy and easy to make. Ratatouille is a traditional country stew, which takes advantage of the late summer bounty of fresh tomatoes, eggplants, onions, zucchini, garlic, and peppers.

Its flavor is built subtly from vegetables at the peak of their freshness. The dish involves no meat, no stock, no complex seasonings and no challenging techniques. Don’t be intimidated by its French origins: Ratatouille is foolproof, flexible, and amazingly, even better as a leftover.

Yield: Serves 8 as a main dish


Note: Vegetable quantities in this recipe are flexible

  • 3 large onions
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2-3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds tomatoes
  • 3 medium eggplants
  • 3 medium zucchinis
  • 4 bell peppers, seeded and cored
  • 4 bay leaves
  • parsley or basil to garnish (optional)


  1. Wash, trim, and cut all vegetables into 1/2 inch cubes.
  2. Place eggplant and zucchini cubes in a colander over the sink and sprinkle generously with salt. Let stand for 15-30 minutes. Rinse briefly. This process reduces the bitterness of the zucchini and eggplant.
  3. Heat oil in a very large pot on medium heat. Add onions and salt, and cook for 5-10 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, coriander, and black pepper and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add all the vegetables and bay leaves, turn heat to low, cover, and simmer gently for 20-30 minutes until the vegetables are just cooked through.
  5. Remove from heat. Taste and adjust salt as desired. Serve with parsley or basil (optional). You can serve immediately or refrigerate. The flavor does improve on day two and three, and this is a great make-ahead dish.

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