With all the holiday recipes floating around the internet, why don’t we talk about something healthy. Oh don’t you worry, I still have plenty of comfort food and holiday treat recipes in my queue, but if you’re going to have room for all of those without going into a total food coma, you should really start out with something like this Roasted Cauliflower and Eggplant Chickpea Soup.
I have never known how to cook eggplant. I remember cooking with it one time back when I was a newlywed. Way, way back. Can you believe Ben and I are coming up on our 11 year anniversary?! 11 years!
Well, in 11 years I have only cooked eggplant that one time. I vaguely remember trying to cook eggplant parmesan. I had eaten it at an Italian restaurant and absolutely loved it. Yeah, I was no restaurant cook because my eggplant parmesan turned out terrible. Not just the “choke it down with a large glass of water” kind of bad. I’m talking about the “throw it in the trashcan and eat Ramen noodles while you cry about the money you wasted because you are a poor newlywed college student” kind of bad.
Needless to say, I have never cooked it since…until a week ago. I was feeling brave in the grocery store and, lo and behold, eggplant was on sale. I have cooked with it three times this week and have loved it every time!
My first go around with the eggplant was for a Caramelized Onion Grilled Portabella Mushroom and Eggplant Burger. Um, yum. And my second go to was for this healthy vegetarian soup. My last attempt was in a Zucchini and Eggplant Coconut Stir Fry. Also delicious. Don’t worry, all these recipes will be coming soon enough. But for now, can we focus on this soup?
This soup is a warm brothy soup with fall spices like ginger and nutmeg. It is slightly sweetened with a touch of honey, but then has a kick of black pepper and cayenne. The flavor has an earthy undertone with the bay leaf and basil. So so good!
Even though this soup is vegetarian, it will leave you feeling satisfied with the addition of garbanzo beans for your protein. You can even mix in some white navy beans if you prefer; whatever mild bean you have on hand should do the trick.
And just like every other soup, this only gets better with time. I ate it for 4 days straight because it just kept getting more and more flavorful. I’m telling you, this soup is a winner!
So there you go, my healthy cleansing post before the chaos of the holidays. Eat this for a couple of days and you’ll be ready to stuff yourself silly.
What is your go to healthy soup?
- 1 head of cauliflower, chopped into bite sized florets
- 6 carrots, peeled and sliced ⅛" thick
- 1 eggplant, cut into ½" cubes
- 4 stalks of celery, sliced into ¼" slices
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
- ¾ teaspoon ginger, plus more for sprinkling
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, plus more for sprinkling
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 2 cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 4 tablespoons honey, divided
- 1-1½ teaspoons salt, depending on taste, plus more for sprinkling
- Dash of cayenne pepper, if desired
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large sheet pan with foil. Chop vegetables and arrange cauliflower, eggplant, and carrots on baking sheet (not celery). Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season vegetables with salt, pepper, ginger and nutmeg.* Toss veggies to coat in olive oil and seasonings. Bake for 45 minutes, turning veggies after 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Drizzle veggies with 2 tablespoons of honey. Stir to coat and return to oven for an additional 15-20 minutes until veggies are desired tenderness.
- When veggies are halfway done cooking, begin making broth. In a large pot add vegetable broth, bay leaf, ginger, nutmeg, black pepper, basil, onion powder, garlic powder, and turmeric. Bring to a boil. Add celery and reduce heat to a low boil for 10 minutes or until celery reaches desired tenderness. Reduce heat to low to keep warm. Drain and rinse garbanzo beans and add to pot along with 2 tablespoons of remaining honey.
- Once roasted veggies are done, add to pot. Stir to distribute flavors. Add 1-1½ teaspoons of salt depending on taste. Add a dash or two of cayenne pepper if desired.