Roasted Eggplant and White Bean Soup - Seriously SoupyOriginally for today's post I wanted to feature a French onion soup - nothing to inventive, but a soup that I had never created on my own and one that I surely enjoy. Unfortunately, my not-so-reliable Caloric Ultra-Ray oven from the 1960s (one step above an easy bake oven) let me down, so the baking aspect, and thus, the French onion soup wasn't going to happen. I then thought about eggplant. I wanted to make a soup out of this hearty veggie for some time now, but due to the debunk oven I would have to pan fry it, which I wasn't 100% sure I wanted to do for this soup. Then all of sudden the pre-historic oven was up and running again (stomping my feet in rage had nothing to do with that), but the French onion concept seemed dull, or least not right for now compared to my new idea--roast the eggplant in olive oil, salt and pepper and fresh basil while a soup broth is cooking with white beans, onions, fresh mint, and some seasonings. I completed this by blending it all together and instantly one of my new favorite soupy's was created. Also, I didn't really set out for this, but dairy didn't seem necessary, so the soup is dairy-free, then I realized it's essentially white beans and eggplant, so it's also vegan, low-fat, and gluten-free, but certainly not free on flavor.
eggplant getting ready to roast with olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh basil
Roasted Eggplant and White Bean Soup
2-3 cups of water
1 medium-sized organic eggplant
1 can of cannelloni white beans (I would use dry, but this was a last minute idea)
1 clove of garlic
1 yellow onion, chopped up
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 quart (32oz) of Pacific Natural Foods Organic Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
1 package of fresh basil
1 package of fresh mint
pinch of celery salt
pinch of thyme
pinch of sea salt
pinch of pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the eggplant in half and cut into medium-sized squares (along with the skin), making sure to discard of the top part. Place the eggplant on a sheet of aluminum foil (or an oven-safe baking pan), cut open the garlic and place the whole clove on top, along with a sprinkle of olive oil, salt, pepper, and a few sprigs of fresh basil. Cover and place in the oven. Let cook for 45 minutes to one hour, periodically checking on it. About 20 minutes into the cooking time, add the water and half the container of broth to a pot. Cut the onion and add to the pot and let simmer on a low heat. When eggplant is finished roasting (should be browned and soft), add it to the pot and the remaining broth, as well as another cup of water. Add the beans, more olive oil, basil, and mint and let cook for 15-20 minutes. Start to taste-adding salt, pepper, thyme, and celery salt, adjusting based on your preferences.Turn off flame, let cool, and blend (I used a hand blender, which left the soup semi-chunky). Taste if more seasonings are needed and enjoy!
P.S. I can't say enough about this soup. As I mentioned, it has definitely become one of my favorites, but a little crunchy bite would have been ideal to top off the soup, like say, a crouton! I love this recipe from Savory Sweet Life, but maybe for this soup I would have used fresh basil or mint instead of parsley to complete the already bursting-with-flavor soupy. Oh well, there is always next time.
What type of eggplant soup have you made?
Seriously Soupy Serena