Curried Eggplant Soup

by on April 13, 2008
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wildflowerThings are getting back to normal here, at least in my house, after last week’s storm. Though I’ve been slow in returning your emails, I want you to know that each one was read, sometimes several times, and appreciated. I feel very lucky not only to have survived the storm with so little damage but also to have the supportive thoughts of people like you.

I’ve had weather on my mind lately but not, apparently, when I was deciding what to cook this week. I seem to have been stuck in “soup mode” since this fall, and when I decided to cook this roasted eggplant soup, I did it not realizing that the temperature here was expected to be in the high 80′s; otherwise, I would never have chosen to cook something that required me to turn on the oven as well as the stove. Fortunately, this is a soup that tastes great hot or cold; I can’t decide which way I like it best, but I do know that it made a refreshing cold lunch on a day when I had all the windows and doors thrown open to drive out the midday heat.

Before I get to the recipe, let me take a minute to discuss curry powder. You may have noticed that when one of my recipes calls for curry powder, I usually specify “good quality” or “best quality” curry powder, and you may be asking yourself, “What exactly differentiates regular curry powder from ‘best’ curry powder?” The simple answer is You. Your own taste is whatMaharajah Curry Powder separates a good from a not-so-good curry powder, and if you’ve found one you like, by all means use it. But, if you’re using McCormick’s or Kroger’s or whatever store-brand’s curry powder because it’s all your grocery store had and you’ve never tried another curry powder, it might be time for you to do some experimenting. For one thing, supermarket spices are often old and past their prime before you even buy them. If you have a chance to shop at a store that specializes in spices, do it–the turnover is quicker, and the spices are much less likely to have gotten old and lost their flavor. As I’ve mentioned before, my personal favorite mild curry powder is Penzey’s Maharajah, mainly because it contains saffron and I love saffron; since I discovered Maharajah, I actually use curry powder more often, instead of mixing my own individual spices, because I like the taste that much. But you don’t have to use it just because I do. Another good one that I’ve tried is The Spice House’s Sweet Curry Powder (though they have a maharajah-style curry powder, I’ve never tried it, so I can’t say how it compares to Penzey’s). If you live close to either of these spice stores, I envy you; if you don’t, please consider ordering by mail, as I do. (And no, I don’t receive any monetary compensation from either of these companies, though I’d be glad to be hired as their spokesperson; they could pay me in Maharajah!)

Armed with a really good curry powder, you can make a soup that will make even eggplant-haters forget that they’re eating the dreaded purple fruit. The idea for this soup came from a book called Dairy Hollow House Soup & Bread Cookbook by Crescent Dragonwagon. Though most of the recipes aren’t vegetarian, they’re inventive and interesting, and many can be veganized with a little creative substitution. This one began as Curried Cream of Eggplant Soup-Stew, but in my veganized version I’ve substituted white beans for the dairy with, I think, wonderful results.

Curried Eggplant Soup

Curried Eggplant Soup

(printer-friendly version)

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant (or 2 smaller ones)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes (drained canned tomatoes or fresh)
  • 1 1/2 -2 tablespoons best-quality curry powder
  • 1 pinch cayenne (or more, to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar (or other sweetener)
  • 1 15-ounce can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups vegetable broth, divided
  • 1/2 cup soy milk or other non-dairy milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 tablespoons soy yogurt (optional)
  • Parsley or cilantro, chopped (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Peel the eggplant and slice it 1/4-inch thick. Place the slices on a sprayed baking sheet and cover with foil. Roast until eggplant is very tender, about 30 minutes.

  2. Remove the eggplant from the oven and allow to cool. Put half of the slices into the food processor. Chop the other half coarsely and put them in a large pot. Add 3 cups of the vegetable broth and bring to a low simmer.
  3. Spray a non-stick skillet with canola oil and get it hot. Add the onions and sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the diced apple and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato, curry powder, cayenne, soy sauce, and agave nectar and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the reserved 1 cup of broth and cook another minute. Pour this mixture into the food processor with the eggplant.
  4. Add the beans to the food processor and puree until it forms a thick paste. Scrape the paste into the pot with the broth and eggplant, stir well, and add the non-dairy milk. Season to taste with salt and pepper (and more curry powder if necessary). Turn down to very low and barely simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Serve hot or chilled, stirring in one tablespoon of soy yogurt into each bowl (if desired) and sprinkling with parsley or cilantro.

Cooking time (duration): 50 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 6

Makes 6 servings. Per serving, without yogurt: 143 Calories (kcal); 1g Total Fat; (7% calories from fat); 7g Protein; 28g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 183mg Sodium; 7g Fiber. Weight Watchers: 2 Flex Points; Core (omit agave nectar).

Copyright © Susan Voisin 2008. All rights reserved. Please do not repost recipes or photos to other websites.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 SusanV August 1, 2009 at 9:37 am

Here are the comments that were posted before the blog moved:

Jess – The Domestic Vegan said…

YUM! I love Penzeys, and I love curry! This soup looks fantastic!

1:21 PM, April 13, 2008
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Kalyn said…

I’m also a fan of that Maharajah curry powder! The soup sounds delicious, and I am glad the three of you are all ok!

1:29 PM, April 13, 2008
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funwithyourfood said…

I use curry past more than curry powder- it just seemed “fresher” to me for some reason. I’ve been in soup mode as well. Which is odd because it’s been very sunny and warm out here… Glad to see you’re settling back down!

Teddy

3:11 PM, April 13, 2008
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Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said…

I’m also partial to the Penzeys Maharajah powder. A wonderful way to experiment is to treat yourself to Penzeys’ 8-curry spice set, and try each of the mild and hot curry powders to find the one you like best.

4:36 PM, April 13, 2008
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OpenID oenone-borealis said…

The soup looks fantastic! Thank you for the curry recommendation. I received a Penzey’s gift certificate at Christmas. I think I know what I’ll order.

My biggest beef with the site is how every taco seasoning blend save one contains lactose or lecithin.

-Oenone

4:46 PM, April 13, 2008
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VeggieGirl said…

Susan, I’m glad to read that things are still getting better, after the storm. I’m still thinking about you and your family!

What a delectable-looking curry/soup!! I love spicy dishes :0)

6:08 PM, April 13, 2008
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LaurenOrder said…

Tag! You’re it! I’m tagging you to name five things about yourself that others may not know.

In the post, link back to my blog, and tag five others (also linking to their blogs).

Sorry if you’ve done this one before!

10:16 PM, April 13, 2008
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Melisser; the Urban Housewife said…

Mmm, it certainly sounds good! I’d like to order from Penzeys, but we’re so spoiled here, I can find anything at the co-op I go to. Funny thing, I just ran out of curry powder!

12:49 AM, April 14, 2008
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Solitary Dancer said…

I never would have thought to combine these flavors. It sounds really good. I just might have to give this one a try!

5:34 AM, April 14, 2008
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Liz² said…

I have to try my hand at this soup! I like the idea of using beans instead of dairy, and as for curry powders, I’m partial to Sharwood’s, but it’s not the same as it used to be (they changed the blend! can you believe it? I think there’s a lot more turmeric now :/)

6:55 AM, April 14, 2008
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Ashley Nicole said…

Oh yum! After I make a trip to the farmers market tomorrow night, I am definitely going to make this soup, it sounds wonderful! I enjoy making all of the recipes you post – they instantly become favorites in our house!

10:03 AM, April 14, 2008
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Kelleen said…

Being a fan of both Penzey’s curry powder and egglplant, I cannot wait to try this recipe. I have been looking for more cold soup recipes for the summer so this post is perfect timing!

11:08 AM, April 14, 2008
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bazu said…

I’m so sorry to read about it so late, but I just found out about the storm you guys went through, and I just want to say I’m hope you are all ok! This part of the year can have such unpredictable weather…

11:21 AM, April 14, 2008
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Jenny K said…

I’ve been lurking around your site for a long time now but never have commented. I’m glad to see that you and your family are okay after the storm!

I made this soup last night (my roommate and I were craving Indian food). This soup was fabulous, just like everything else we’ve made from your blog!

I get so many compliments at pot lucks or when I have people over! (I always recommend your site to others!) You’ve made my transition to being a vegan easy since all of your food is great!

11:24 AM, April 14, 2008
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John La Puma said…

That does sound like a good soup. And an added benefit of the curry is that India’s rate of Alzheimer’s disease is one of the world’s lowest, possibly because of the turmeric found in curry. Here’s another curry soup recipe http://www.chefmd.com/recipe_display.php?id=26 The ChefMD site is not vegan, but some vegans I know still find the info on it quite useful.

2:18 PM, April 14, 2008
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Connie said…

i agree- the spices can make all the difference. Thankfully, I live a few blocks away from an Indian grocer and find all sorts of wonderful things there. I love the idea of apples in this soup!

2:42 PM, April 14, 2008
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Vaishali said…

Susan, I don’t think I’ve ever come across a recipe that used both eggplant and apple. The soup looks delicious and nutritious.

1:19 PM, April 15, 2008
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Anonymous said…

I just discovered your blog this week and I immediately tried this recipe and it is fantastic. I did add just a touch more cayenne (I like spicy foods). Even my son who does not like eggplant declared it “okay” which is better than the usual comment I receive when I get him to try a new eggplant dish! Thank you so much for sharing!

12:11 PM, April 16, 2008
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Chefesq said…

My friend pointed me to your blog after your polenta lasagna. When I saw this soup, I just had to try it. It was great!! Thanks for a ton of really great recipes.

6:51 PM, April 21, 2008
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Lindy Loo said…

I made this over the weekend (and plan on posting about it sometime this week), but seriously: I didn’t even use good-quality curry powder (think “dusty $1 curry powder wedged at the back of the shelf at the grocery store”) and truly, it’s one of the best soups I’ve ever made. Without a doubt. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

1:02 PM, April 22, 2008
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kara-the-pirate said…

This was delicious! And very filling because of the pureed beans.

9:51 PM, March 05, 2009
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Tofu Monkey said…

I never normally have a chance to leave positive feedback about your recipes but as soon as I made this soup last night, I knew I just had to find the time! This is, quite simply the best soup recipe I have ever tasted and I’ve had hundreds to go by! So full of flavour and my house were raving about it all night. I had originally made enough to last me all week but with all the ‘seconds’ and ‘thirds’ that were demanded of me last night, I barely had enough for my lunch today! My partner, who is a meat eater, has requested that I make this again soon! Keep these recipes coming and I might just be able to bring him to the wonderful side of veganism.

2:44 PM, January 07, 2010

Reply

2 Kat September 18, 2011 at 12:10 am

Susan,

Just to let you know, the actual calorie amount is missing from the nutritional information here. The recipe looks great!

Reply

3 SusanV September 19, 2011 at 7:47 am

Thanks, Kat! I’ve got it fixed now.

Reply

4 Eric January 13, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Sounds very interesting, I will give it a try.

Reply

5 Barbreed3740 October 16, 2012 at 10:23 pm

Love this soup! I’ve made it several times.

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6 Lila April 12, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Thanks, Susan. Never have too many eggplant recipes. I made a soup for a group a couple weeks ago and many said they never liked eggplant before they had my soup. I’m on a mission!

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7 Elizabeth August 7, 2013 at 10:58 am

I made this soup last night, and it was delicious! However, I simplified things a lot. In addition to eliminating the milk entirely, I didn’t food process anything while cooking. Instead, I cooked everything in a single pot – adding the eggplant, stock, and beans at the end and then simmering for 15 minutes – before blending the entire concoction together. It still turned out great! (And it saved me a number of steps and dirty pots, something which is always a goal. I’m a lazy cook :) )

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