By the time December rolls around, I’m pretty much constantly dreaming of butter, sugar, flour, chocolate, and peppermint. Baking with those ingredients is tons of fun…almost as much fun as eating the results 🙂 What isn’t fun is when all those treats catch up to you and your cutest holiday party outfit is just a wee bit tighter than you remembered it being. Balance, readers. We’ve got to find the balance. (As unfun and adult-like as that sounds.)
Luckily, soups like this one exist. It is healthy, hearty, and full of unique flavors. It’s also simple to make, which is very helpful this time of year. Nearly all the ingredients are chopped up and roasted in the oven. Then they are dumped in a pot with some broth and a couple seasonings and voila! A fantastic, warming meal that leaves you with plenty of time to shop, wrap gifts, or bake all those holiday treats you’re dreaming of.
Roasted Eggplant and Chickpea Soup
adapted from Everyday Food, October 2010
1 1/2 lbs. eggplant (about 2 medium), peeled and cut into 1-in.cubes
1 small yellow onion, diced medium
1 TBSP plus 2 tsp. fresh oregano, divided
2-3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 tsp. each sea salt and ground pepper, plus more to taste
6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas, rinsed, drained, and patted dry
4 c. low-sodium vegetable broth
zest and juice of half a lemon
red pepper flakes, for garnish
plain yogurt, for garnish
lemon wedges, for serving
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, toss together eggplant, 1 TBSP oregano,
onion, garlic, 1/2 tsp. salt and pepper, and 4 tsp. olive oil. Arrange in a single layer in a roasting pan or rimmed baking
sheet, leaving a wide strip of empty space at one end.
chickpeas with remaining 2 tsp. oil. Transfer to empty space at the end of the baking sheet. Roast until eggplant is golden and cooked through and
chickpeas are slightly crunchy, about 35 minutes.
4. Remove pan from oven. Carefully remove garlic to cool slightly.
5. Pour broth into a soup pot then add eggplant and onions. Set chickpeas aside. When garlic is cool enough to touch, carefully peel it and add it to the pot. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium-high, stirring occasionally. With a potato masher or back of a wooden spoon, mash some or all (depending on preference) of the eggplant until the soup becomes thick. Stir in chickpeas, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasonings.
6. To serve, ladle into four bowls. Garnish with a swirl of yogurt, remaining oregano, and red pepper flakes. Serve with additional lemon wedges, if desired.