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Transforming the classic Italian-American dish into a soup to create a savory eggplant parmesan soup. This comforting bowl has all the flavors of the traditional meal with roasted eggplant, tomato sauce, and garlic bread crisps.
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What makes this dish special
I don't know why but I have the hardest time coming up with soup recipes. Don't get me wrong, I love a comforting bowl of soup. But it's another thing to enjoy it and another to create an original one. So I decided to take a different approach. This time I decided to take a classic dish like eggplant parmesan and turn it into a soup. This eggplant parmesan soup tastes like the original dish with roasted eggplant, a marinara-like sauce, and even breadcrumbs. Finish the soup with garlic crisps, fresh basil, and a sprinkle of parmesan for one satisfying and homey meal.
- Eggplant: The purple-skinned vegetable has an earthy flavor but becomes slightly sweet and nutty when roasted. The spongey texture also becomes creamy once roasted.
- White wine: If you prefer not to use wine, you can replace it with vegetable broth.
- Canned crushed tomatoes: If tomatoes are in season, you can incorporate them into the soup instead of using canned tomatoes.
- Balsamic vinegar: The dark, sweet, and tangy vinegar adds another layer of flavor in the soup, balancing the acidity in the tomatoes.
- Parmesan rind: The rind is the outer, firm edge of a piece of Parmesan cheese that adds umami to the soup. If you don't have a Parmesan rind, you can add grated Parmesan cheese for a similar flavor.
- Baguette: Although this recipe uses long narrow French bread for the crisps, you can use any other crusty bread such as Italian bread or French loaf.
- Basil: A fragrant herb with a sweet and slightly peppery flavor. It adds a lovely finishing touch to the soup.
How to make eggplant parmesan soup
Step 1: Prepare eggplant
To make this eggplant parmesan soup, you first have to start with the eggplant. Cut a large eggplant in half and score the flesh in a crisscross pattern. Season the vegetable with oil, salt, and pepper, and roast it until tender. You can also grill the eggplant if you prefer.
Scoop out the flesh and discard the skin. Feel free to prepare the eggplant the day before.
Step 2: Cook the soup
Now let's move on to the rest of the eggplant parmesan soup. Saute the onion in a large pot until it's softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Then, add the garlic and saute for another minute.
I love adding a splash of white wine for an added layer of complexity, however, if you're not a fan, you can omit it.The California Wine Club's Premier Series, the most popular of all the clubs.
Add the remaining ingredients including tomatoes, vegetable or chicken stock, balsamic vinegar, basil, oregano, parmesan rind, and the reserved eggplant pulp. No matter what, I do not suggest skipping the parmesan rind. It's a fantastic flavor enhancer, adding a ton of umami to the broth. In fact, I add it to a lot of my soups.
Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat to low, and continue to simmer for 30 minutes.
Step 3: Make the toppings
While the eggplant parmesan soup is cooking, prepare the garlic crisps. Thinly slice a baguette and brush both sides with olive oil. Toast the bread until golden brown, flipping it over halfway through.
As soon as the crisps come out of the oven, rub a raw garlic clove to infuse the crisps with garlic flavor. You can also prepare the garlic crisps the day before.
Puree half of the soup with an immersion blender or Vitamix until smooth or puree all of it for a completely smooth soup. Finish it with breadcrumbs and season with salt and pepper. It may sound odd to add breadcrumbs but it adds body to the soup.
Ladle the dish into a bowl and garnish with garlic crisps, fresh basil, and a sprinkle of parmesan. Finish with freshly cracked black pepper for a little hit of spice and dig in!
I gotta say, I think using a classic dish as inspiration for a soup creation is my best idea yet. This eggplant parmesan soup is reminiscent of the traditional meal with all the key ingredients and is just as delicious. What dish to turn into soup next?
Frequently asked questions
Certainly! You can add crispy bacon or prosciutto, sausage, or even pair it with meatballs.
Yes, you can prepare the soup ahead of time and reheat it when ready to serve. Like most soups, this one tastes better the next day. The garlic bread crisps are best added just before serving to maintain their crispiness.
Store any leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat gently on the stovetop, and add fresh garnishes just before serving.
More vegetarian soup recipes
Looking for more vegetarian soups? Try these:
Eggplant Parmesan Soup
- 1 large eggplant
- 5 tablespoons olive oil divided
- salt and pepper
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- ½ cup white wine
- 28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 ounce parmesan rind
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- ½ baguette thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove
- ¼ cup fresh basil
- ¼ cup grated parmesan
- freshly cracked black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Cut eggplant in half and score flesh in a crisscross pattern. Drizzle flesh with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place eggplant on baking sheet and cover with foil. Roast for 35-40 minutes or until eggplant is soft and tender. Remove pulp with spoon and set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 1 more minute.
- Pour white wine and simmer for 1 minute. Add canned tomatoes, chicken or vegetable stock, oregano, basil, balsamic vinegar, parmesan rind, and eggplant pulp. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make garlic bread crisps. Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons oil on thinly sliced baguette, tossing to coat. Spread bread on baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown, flipping bread over halfway through. Remove from oven and rub garlic clove directly on bread. Let cool.
- Transfer half of the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour soup back into pot and add breadcrumbs. Stir to combine and simmer for 5 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Portion soup into bowls and top with garlic bread crisps, fresh basil, parmesan, and freshly cracked black pepper. Serve immediately.