Recipe Nook: Café Cat’s Spicy Eggplant and Tomato Soup

(Photos and recipe courtesy of Linda Peek at cafecat.com.au)

England born Linda Peek has cooked for rock stars, dignitaries and royalty in her role as a diplomatic woman and is now sharing her stories and recipes on her amazing food blog in Canberra, Australia.

There aren’t many food bloggers who can list Diplomat’s Spouse as a previous career, but for Linda it was a natural progression from one experience to another. She lived in Geneva, Switzerland until she met her husband Matthew, a member of the Australian Diplomatic Service. “We had the privilege of living on five continents, with postings to Tel Aviv, Kuala Lumpur, Pretoria, Santiago, Paris and Copenhagen, with home postings to Canberra in between. That’s pretty unusual. Diplomats who learn a difficult language like Arabic, Chinese or Japanese are usually sent back to countries where they can use these hard-earned skills, ”she adds.

“The most important job of an ambassador’s spouse is entertainment, event management, and catering. I was fortunate that I enjoyed this responsibility and managed events without employing expensive caterers, ”she says. Linda had traveled the world in the diplomatic corps for over 35 years, honing her cooking and catering skills for diplomatic events and receptions. (Linda manages her own brokerage firm, Oztrade Pacific, which processes frozen fruits, juices and purees from various countries in Australia / New Zealand, Europe and South America, and Australian cheeses in South America. For inquiries / information, please visit: https://www.oztradepacific. com.au/.)

“I started collecting recipes when I was in school. Some of the recipes in my large collection have been with my family for generations; others have been passed down by friends and chefs around the world. Many have been adjusted over the years to make them lighter or to update their presentation. I’ve served them to Kings, PMs, and other VIPs and there have been no complaints. ”

Linda’s recipe for spicy eggplant and tomato soup was first published in 2013 at www.cafecat.com.au. “This is a very satisfying soup. I created it when a friend came over for lunch and I had a lonely eggplant in the fridge. I put the eggplant in the oven and let it cook for a while. The final mixing and reheating takes less than 10 minutes and is so easy, ”she says.