Saturday, February 22, 2020

Persian Roasted Eggplant Soup





Persian eggplant soup

I'm not sure if the origins of this flavorful eggplant soup recipe is actually Persian or Lebanese. 

The basic recipe has been a family favorite for many years. It's simple, delicious, a crowd-pleaser and an interesting way to use eggplant. We make this easy soup two ways:




1. Vegetables only recipe- We use only the indicated roasted vegetables for the basic recipe.
2. Chickpeas added recipe- We make the basic roasted vegetable recipe, but we blend in 3/4 cup of cooked chickpeas . Adds flavor as well as protein. 

I suggest trying the basic recipe first.



eggplants on a plate


Either way, whether you add the chickpeas or not (I didn't ), it's an exotic recipe that may sound unusual to Americans but is much more common to Middle Eastern cooks and palates.

The recipe calls for four basic roasted vegetables:
  • Eggplant, cherry tomatoes, carrots and lots of garlic - all roasted.

If you are not familiar with za'atar,(affiliate link), it is a Middle Eastern spice blend. I buy this brand (affiliate link) because it is gluten-free. It's made from sesame seeds, hyssop (oregano type herb), parsley, coriander, salt, citric acid, and olive oil. However, beware some brands may contain roasted wheat and therefore will not be gluten-free- you have to check and I buy a brand that indicates- Gluten-free. 

Za'atar adds a delicious blend of spices as a garnish for the soup.


bowl of Persian eggplant soup


Author of this blog: Judee Algazi
Prep Time: 10-12 minutes
Roasting Time:  About 35 minutes
Blend Time: 1 minute
Serves: 5 cups


Ingredients:
2 cups peeled and cubed eggplant
3 cups of sliced carrot
6 cloves of fresh garlic, cut in half
2 cups of cherry tomatoes halved
Individually, toss all the vegetables in olive oil
(or spray with olive oil spray)
 or for an oil-free version, toss in aquafaba- see notes at end
3 cups of flavorful vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder added to the blender
1/2 teaspoon of salt added to the blender
1/2 teaspoon of pepper added to the blender
A shake of Za'atar seasoning added to each bowl of soup (omit on Passover)

Optional: add 3/4 cup of chickpeas after blending for a more filling soup 

Directions: 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  On a rimmed cookie sheet that has been covered with parchment paper place eggplant on one half of the cookie sheet and the tomatoes and garlic on the other side of the cookie sheet. On another cookie sheet, roast the carrots. Roast all of them in the oven for thirty minutes or until done. Place all of the cooled roasted vegetables into a blender, add vegetable broth, and blend until smooth. Top with za'atar and enjoy.


soup, Persian, eggplant, vegan, easy

My Notes and Great Reader's Tip:  

1. My good friend Laura Szabo (link) (author and fabulous cook) loves this recipe and makes it frequently. 
Laura shared this time saving tip.

She roasts her veggies in advance and then freezes them. She just takes the vegetables out of the freezer, defrosts them, and then pops everything into blender for a quick easy soup. 

Thanks Laura for this very time-saving helpful tip!!



Shared on Beth Fish Reads, Weekend Cooking where anyone can share a food related post.


Shared on Deb's Souper Sunday where anyone can share a soup, salad, or sammie recipe post.



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23 comments:

  1. I had eggplants prepared at many methods, but have never thought of using them in soups. This sounds and looks so tasty...what a fun and intriguing recipe!

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    Replies
    1. My family loves it and so does company. It's very tasty and interesting - really don't taste the eggplant

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  2. Beautiful soup! as they sung in Alice in Wonderland. It's fun that so many bloggers are making soup for our cold winter this week. Your links to the spice merchants don't seem to work.

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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  3. Thanks for your comment on my blog! I love za'atar, and always bring some from Israel when I visit there. Have a great weekend, Valerie

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  4. I really like eggplant and this version with za'atar indeed sounds tasty.

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  5. Sounds like a wonderful blend of veggies, but think I'd use vegetable broth instead of so much oil. Cooking on parchment paper will probably assure those veggies won't stick.If I try it I'll let you know how it goes.

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  6. I'm afraid John would totally freak if I put eggplant in anything. He absolutely hates it.

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  7. This definitely sounds unusual to me. It's hard for me to imagine what it tastes like.

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    1. Jeff,
      I get it! Actually, the eggplant is very mild and the soup just tastes like a roasted veggie soup.

      Delete
  8. Your recipe has provided inspiration! That's what that eggplant resting in the fridge was meant for. Before it's too late.

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  9. Did you add any broth or other liquid to the soup Judee? I have eggplant ready to go and this soup sounds perfect for our cooler weather.

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    Replies
    1. OMG! Yes, I forgot to add in the vegetable broth.. thanks so much for noticing! Corrected

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  10. You are the queen of simple soups, Judee! Za'atar is really good in so many things. I was introduced to it several years ago by another friend's blog.

    Shirley

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  11. I don't think ive ever had soup made with aubergines and this really does look good. i also really like zaatar - its so versatile.

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  12. I like eggplant but I really only know a couple of things to do with it. Would never have thought of soup!

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  13. Looks delicious!
    I have never tried eggplant soup.

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  14. Your soup sounds good! I love eggplant and I have Za'atar in the cabinet so I want to try this, yum! Thanks!

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  15. I bought Za'atar to use in gumbo, and haven't used it since. Thanks for the recipe using this interesting spice.

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  16. I love family recipes, and this one sounds so delicious, Judee. I haven't used Za'atar myself at home yet, but I've tasted it and I really like it. I think I might add the chickpeas as they are a favourite of mine. Thank you for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Link Party community. I'm featuring this post at the party this week. Thank you for sharing it. Have a great week!

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  17. Hi Judee,
    What a beautiful color for your soup and the flavor would be amazing! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday and hope you are having a great week!
    Miz Helen

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  18. Sounds good!! Thanks so much for linking up with me at #AThemedLinkup 13 for Vegan Recipes, open March 15 to 25. All entries shared on social media if share buttons installed. My Unlimited Monthly Party 10 is open March 1 to 26 if you’d like to link up for more views and shares. My party Bottle – 65 Words Writing Prompt Linkup is open March 10 to 20, won’t you join me for fun and creativity?

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  19. Just made it, just ate it. This soup is exceptional, Judee. If one’s husband does not see the eggplant going into the recipe, I am willing to place better than even money on him never guessing. But, to people like Jackie, make it for yourself! It is that good.

    It did seem like a lot of work, chopping, separate roasting pans, etc. for what I guessed would amount to five non-main dish servings of soup, so as long as I was chopping, I doubled the recipe and tucked half of the finished roasted vegetables into the freezer so that next time I will just defrost them and zip through the blender with Tabatchnicks and zaatar. We’ll see if that turns out respectably and I will let you know.

    Since you didn’t put measurements on the zaatar and the garlic powder I simply sprinkled the garlic powder in the blender, perhaps about a quarter teaspoon, added about half a teaspoon of zaatar to the blender as well, then extra zaatar to my own portion. But if you have any more specific advice or do it a different way, please share.

    Thank you again for this very different, unexpected, exotic, and scrumptious soup. I will be bringing by a container for my loved ones with this current virus. I believe it will nourish, comfort, and delight them and thus be a healing force.

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