Every summer my garden reaches the point where it's so prolific that I can hardly keep up with it. I'm at that point of explosion right now. One of my favorite vegetables is eggplant; it has fabulous texture and flavor. It's beautiful: from its deep purples to striated violet varieties; and round to thin and elongated.
My eggplant dilemma is always the same: it's a sponge for oil so even if you're sticking to good oils like extra virgin olive oil it's still a lot of olive oil. There's nothing like eggplant Parmesan or the classic Italian antipasto of fried eggplant with a touch of balsamic, served room temperature. But again, I'd like to use up my scrumptious eggplants, but ditch the oil.
A bit of research took me to a blog that yielded the springboard to a recipe I made yesterday that was a roaring success with me and my guests. And hurray, it's a no fat recipe.
The Fat Free Vegan blog is just that: fat free and vegan. You may not fully subscribe to either concept but you'll find some nice, healthful recipes, all easily adaptable to almost anyone's taste.
I've eliminated apples and sweeteners from the original recipe and made some other changes as well. What I love about this recipe is that it uses eggplant chunks along with puréed eggplants, giving it a rich texture. White beans provide creaminess and protein, and along with eggplant's Omega 3 contribution this ends up being a delicious, healthful, low cholesterol, heart-friendly meal.
Curried Eggplant Soup
- 1 large eggplant (or 2 smaller ones)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 cup diced, seeded tomatoes (drained canned tomatoes or fresh)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons best-quality curry powder
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 ½ cups cooked white beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 to 3 cups vegetable broth
- ½ cup skim milk
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 6 tablespoons nonfat Greek yogurt
- Parsley or cilantro, chopped
Preheat oven to 400°F. Peel the eggplant and slice it ¼-inch thick. Place the slices on a sprayed baking sheet and cover with foil. Roast until eggplant is very tender, about 30 minutes.
Remove the eggplant from the oven and allow to cool. Put half of the slices into a blender. Chop the other half coarsely and put them in a large pot.
Sauté the onions in the olive oil until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the curry powder and sauté for a minute. Stir in the tomatoes and soy sauce, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the broth and cook another minute. Pour this mixture into the food processor with the eggplant.
Add the beans to the food processor and purée until smooth. Add the mixture to the pot with the eggplant, stir well, and add the milk. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Turn down to very low and barely simmer for 15 minutes.
Serve hot or chilled, topping each bowl with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkling of parsley or cilantro.