Heat the 1/3 cup of olive oil in a 4-5 quart saucepan.
Add the eggplant and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt.
Sautee over medium high heat, stirring freqently 5 minutes or until tender. Transfer eggplant to a bowl.
In the same pan, heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add onions, celery or fennel, garlic, fennel seed, pepper, bay leaves, remaining salt, basil and thyme. Cook over medium high heat for 5 minutes.
Add sausage and sautee 5-6 minutes breaking meat up into small pieces while cooking.
Add chicken stock, crushed tomatoes, chopped tomatoes with juice, and the eggplant.
Cover and simmer 10-15 minutes, if soup seems too thick add more stock. Remove bay leaves before serving.