Happy National Soup Month!
I’d really like to know who comes up with the stuff. I’m going to declare next month National Wine Month. I kid… I’m eating cleaner.. less wine, more water. Unless I figure out how to turn it into wine… hmmm…
Did you know that the first soup can be dated back to ~6,000 BC and was made of hippopotamus?
As much fun as it is to say, I can’t imagine hippopotamus being fun to eat. Seems like it would be chewy.
No hippos were harmed in the making to this Babaganoush Soup. In fact, it’s vegan.
The nutty tahini in this make it reminiscent of a hummus or chickpea soup. But it’s better – the flavors from the roasted red pepper and onion take this soup to a whole new level.
You will taste it before blending and think it’s too strong. Blend it before adjusting… the purred veggies do balance it out.
Then you’ll think it’s missing something but you won’t know what… but you’ll ladle the soup and squeeze the lemon juice in it and realize this soup has reached perfection.
Don’t be scared of the fats from the tahini – sesame seeds are good fats! They are a great source of copper, manganese, and calcium. And – at the risk of sounding like a grandma – 9g of fiber in a bowl is pretty awesome. Two of sesame’s more unique properties - sesamin and sesamolin - are special fibers called lignans, that can lower cholesterol and prevent blood pressure.
Creamy and satisfying, this one left me licking the bowl.
Save some leftovers – most soups taste even better on day two after the flavors have a chance to meld and this soup is no exception!
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 large red bell pepper, sliced
- 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
- 1 tsp grapeseed oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 San Marzano tomatoes (or 1 large regular tomato)
- 1 1/2 C vegetable stock
- 1 C water
- 2 tsp ras al hanout*
- 1/4 cup tahini
- S+P, to taste
- Optional Garnish: red pepper flakes, cilantro
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut eggplant into 1/3 in slices and lay on foil-lined baking sheet (spray with cooking spray if not anti-stick foil). Salt generously and allow to rest 10-20 mins. (this draw out moisture and helps to remove bitterness). When done, wipe away moisture with paper towel. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, add red pepper and onion slices to sheet, and roast for 25 mins.
Let cool and rub off any blackened pepper skin. Rough chop peppers and eggplant.
Heat oil over medium high heat then add garlic. Saute for ~1 minute until just beginning to turn golden.
Add the stock, tomatoes, eggplant, red pepper, and onion. Stir in ras al hanout. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for ~10 mins allowing the flavors to combine. Remove from heat and add tahini.
Using an immersion blender (or regular blender), puree until smooth.
Ladle into bowls and finish with fresh lemon juice, cilantro, and freshly ground pepper.
Makes 6 cups (3 mains or 6 sides).
Approximate Nutritionals (for main dish serving): 211 calories, 12.6g fat, 1.7g saturated fat, 22.3g carbohydrates, 9.1g fiber, 8.5g sugar, 6.4g protein.
*Ras al Hanout is a spice blend I had not heard of until reading Cara’s blog. I made her blend with a few modifications. It’s also delicious with sautéed spinach and onions!
Ras al Hanout
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp turmeic
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
“I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” is now stuck in my head. Ugh.
What kind of soup are eating for National Soup Month?
Do you make your own spice blends? Do share!