What’s Cooking Wednesday: Mediterranean Eggplant Soup

Home of What’s Cooking WednesdayThis past weekend I had some eggplants/aubergines sitting here waiting to be used.

I thought about Pasta alla Norma, Calabrian stuffed eggplant, or eggplant balls, but decided that I really wanted some zuppa to warm me up–we had quite a chilly, windy weekend–so I went to the Interwebs to find something new.

I found this recipe for Mediterranean Eggplant Soup from Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons: Bountiful Vegan Soups and Stews for Every Time of Year by Nava Atlas.

Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons: Bountiful Vegan Soups and Stews for Every Time of Year by Nava AtlasIt looked fabulous, so I gave it a try, making my own adjustments, including substituting the “Italian herb mix” with a few sprigs of rosemary and thyme (and of course peperoncino) and adding a vegetable bouillon cube at the last minute for a little kick.

I also sprinkled some grated cheese on at the end because, well, I do that with pretty much every soup I eat.

I didn’t, however, add the small soup pasta that is called for because I really wanted to keep it light *and* I wasn’t in the mood for pasta (I know, call the authorities!).

When I make this again, I’ll add even more vegetables and make it a more general Mediterranean vegetable soup–peas, green beans, zucchini, perhaps even some cannellini beans for texture. Another idea is to throw in some shrimp and maybe a dash of Old Bay seasoning.

As you can tell, I think this is a great base for tomato vegetable soup, and all the better if you have your own stock ready. And *so* easy. Be creative!

Mediterranean Eggplant Soup
(Zuppa di Melanzane)
[adapted from Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons: Bountiful Vegan Soups and Stews for Every Time of Year by Nava Atlas]
*serves 6-8

Mediterranean Eggplant Soup on Flickr

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 celery stalks, diced
5 cups water
1 vegetable bouillon cube or replace one cup of water with stock
2 medium eggplants, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
A few sprigs rosemary and thyme
Pinch of peperoncino
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
Salt to taste

1. Heat oil in a soup pot. Add onion, garlic, and celery and sauté over medium heat for a few minutes until onion is translucent.

2. Add water, bouillon cube, eggplant, tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, and peperoncino. Bring to a simmer and let cook until eggplant is tender, about 45 minutes.

3. Add parsley, and adjust the consistency to your liking. Season to taste with salt.

4. Grate some of your favorite cheese on top if you like, and serve immediately.

Mediterranean Eggplant Soup on Flickr

Buon appetito!

22 Beans of Wisdom to “What’s Cooking Wednesday: Mediterranean Eggplant Soup”
  1. Joanne

    The Sicilian in me throws back its head and howls with delight whenever an eggplant is used
    so delightfully. This is just for me, my boys don’t like eggplants, so I’ll be cooking this up to
    pamper moi. It should freeze ok don’t you think?

    Joanne’s last blog post..Cake Central – Website of the Month April 2008

    I’m banking on it Joanne; P isn’t too fond of tomato-based soups so this is a treat just for me as well…and I have some servings in the freezer for our next cold snap 😉

  2. 04.09.2008

    Mmmmm… yum. I feel like I can smell this simmering on the cooktop, and it smells delicious. Good thing both my carnivores will be out of the house tonight!

    anno’s last blog post..Signs it might be spring

    Enjoy your evening anno 🙂

  3. 04.09.2008

    Sounds good. I would consider adding some chick peas for some protein and additional flavour.

    running42k’s last blog post..Yeah but…

    Yum yum!

  4. 04.09.2008

    I am not a huge fan of eggplant, but I know that Chris would love this soup. Think I’ll be a good girl and give it try for him 😉 I like the idea of some ceci too!!!

    My Melange’s last blog post..US Airlines in Trouble?

    Aw, do be a good girl 🙂

  5. 04.09.2008

    You’ve just saved my marriage with this recipe. My husband always complains that I leave
    veggies to rot and this week I have a couple of eggplants in the fridge waiting to meet their maker.
    I was considering making the eggplant balls you posted last month but since we’re on
    a kinda sorta diet, I had to nix that idea. So the soup recipe is poifect! Thanks!!!

    Linda’s last blog post..Picture it!

    Old eggplants are exactly why I made this too! I think I may have to rename this recipe “How to Save a Marriage with Eggplant Soup” or something 😉

  6. 04.09.2008

    The Calabrese in me threw his head back and howled, the Abruzzese reached for the wineglass, the German shook his head in dismay and the Irishman pounded a stake through the heart of the Calabrese.

    I am large, I contain multitudes. Kind of like an insane asylum.

    In any case, yes – this is a good dish for windy, chilly afternoons, which we’re still having along the coast here. I love the simplicity of it – this may be one I actually try!

    Paolo’s last blog post..why I choose to expatriate

    Mwaahahhaahahaaa! I knew I’d get you cooking on Wednesdays sooner or later! Yet another birthday present for you. You are truly viziato.

    Also? The other day I learned the word “manicomio.” It’s become a fast favorite.

  7. 04.09.2008

    I’m allergic to eggplant but we have these beautiful green zucche in Buenos Aires that I think would work really well as a substitute. I’m going to try it soon!

    Tina’s last blog post..Another day of translation

    Sounds great Tina!

  8. 04.09.2008

    Ah, I looked and the green zucche I refer to are called zapallitos. It translates to zucchini but it’s not zucchini as far as I’m concerned, not here in Argentina. But it’s that a nice name for a veggie? zapallito. (the “ll” is pronounced like a “y”, or if you’re in Argentina it’s pronounced like a soft “j”)

    Tina’s last blog post..Another day of translation

    What a cute name indeed! I bet they’re tasty too 🙂

  9. 04.09.2008

    That looks great and healthy too! Although I guess we are starting to get close to the end of hot soup weather. Finally! ; )

    Anali’s last blog post..Not Mine

    Finally is right Anali!

  10. 04.09.2008

    I could go for a bowl of that right now. It’s a little cool and rainy here today.

    Shan’s last blog post..happy 2nd birthday what’s cooking wednesday

    I have some in the freezer I could defrost for you Shan!

  11. 04.09.2008

    I’m a huge fan of eggplant and this sounds wonderful! I also loved your eggplant balls, they’re on my “to make” list for sure!!

    Marie’s last blog post..ANTIPASTI

    Glad to provide some eggplant love Marie 🙂

  12. 04.09.2008

    You say eggplant, I say aubergine, eggplant, aubergine,eggplant, whatever!
    This sounds delicious, I like ‘one veg’ soups so that you really get the flavour but I think if I were making this I might add a little pancetta to the mix.

    amanda’s last blog post..Dyed hair and false smiles

    Don’t tell the vegans, Amanda, but that’s *exactly* what I was thinking too. I wanted to keep the recipe vegetarian, though, for the sake of the blog I went without pancetta. Next time though….

  13. mmmmm, this looks so delish and comforting too!

    Simply…Gluten-free’s last blog post..Gluten-free Grain-free Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

    I think tomato-based soups always provide the best comfort 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  14. Andie Summerkiss

    It looked delicious! Will definitely try the recipe soon. I might add the pasta. Nothing is real food for us (Chinese) without any complex carbohydrate right?

    Andie Summerkiss’s last blog post..Stars and Forks of Eating Out

    The Chinese have a lot in common with the Italians, Andie 😉

  15. 04.10.2008

    Thanks so much for this recipe Michelle!
    I never thought to make a soup from eggplants. It is such a verstile vegetable!

    I blogged about my favorite Italian cookbooks today. I hope if you have a free moment you’ll tell me what yours are.
    My first was the 1968 Polly-O cookbook — a real heirloom! 🙂

    Thanks, Pat

    Pat’s last blog post..My favorite Cookbooks…and Yours?

    Ooh fun post Pat; I’ll be over soon to have a look 🙂

  16. SabineM

    I have one thing to Say : YUMMY!
    Ok two things: I might need to buy this book

    SabineM’s last blog post..Sure is hot down here….

    I’ve been thinking about getting this book too Sabine; it looks fabulous!

  17. 04.10.2008

    This is really delicious with some toasted ciabatta bread 🙂 I love melanzane in tutte le salse 🙂

    campodifragole’s last blog post..Fajitas de pollo my way

    Mmmm and I love toasted ciabatta with just about anything 😉 Thanks for coming by Daniela!

  18. 04.10.2008

    I love eggplant. I could eat it every day of the week.
    Never made an eggplant soup, thank you for the recipe.

    Merisi’s last blog post..Magnolia

    This is the first time I ever had it soup as well Merisi; hope you enjoy it!

  19. 04.12.2008

    A whole cookbook full of vegetarian soups? Oh, honey, I am SO THERE.

    I love soup. This one looks great. Thanks! 🙂

    Doesn’t it sound awesome? I’m not even vegetarian or vegan, and I wouldn’t mind a copy.

  20. 04.12.2008

    That soup looks tasty. I like topping soup with cheese as well.

    Kevin’s last blog post..Pan Seared Tilapia in Avgolemono Sauce

    Grated cheese on soup is truly one of my favorite things in the world 🙂

  21. 04.14.2008

    I posted before, but the comment never appeared… well… I came by to tell you that I made this recipe, and it was a hit with the family. I LOVE eggplant, my boys like it. This was really good, but I think next time I will add some small pasta. Thanks for sharing.

    Beatriz’s last blog post..Tag you are it!

    Sorry about the posting issue, but glad to hear the soup was a hit! Rice is another great idea if you’re not in the mood for pasta 🙂

  22. dd

    I made this last night with the addition of a can of cannelli beans and a boat load of basil. Served with whole wheat cibatta bread. It came out great, and will definitely stay in rotation at our house. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Definitely a keeper around here too DD! And the more basil the better 🙂

Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

Calabria Guidebook

Calabria travel guide by Michelle Fabio



Homemade apple butter
Green beans, potatoes, and pancetta
Glazed Apple Oatmeal Cinnamon Muffins
Pasta with snails alla calabrese
Onion, Oregano, and Thyme Focaccia
Oatmeal Banana Craisin Muffins
Prosciutto wrapped watermelon with bel paese cheese
Fried eggs with red onion and cheese
Calabrian sausage and fava beans
Ricotta Pound Cake