nightshade soup

nightshade soup

by the numbers

prep time10 minutes
cook time45 minutes
servings2 bowls

ingredients

590gwater or vegetable broth
120gbell pepper, fresh (red, yellow, orange)
120geggplants, fresh
120gtomato, fresh
1/4tspiodized salt
1/2tspdried oregano
1/2tspdried rosemary
1Tbspextra virgin olive oil

directions

  1. Wash the vegetables. You can spray them with a vinegar/water mixture, wipe them with a damp paper towel, or simply rub them gently under the tap.
  2. Chop the vegetables into pieces so they’re all about the same size, removing and discarding their stems/calyxes and any blemished parts. Very small tomatoes do not need to be chopped.
  3. Add all vegetables, salt, and water to a medium pot (~3qt) and turn on medium or high to bring to a boil.
  4. After boiling briefly, turn off the heat. The vegetables should be softened. If using purple eggplant, it should still be faintly purple when you are done.
  5. Remove from the heat.
  6. Add the herbs. Adding them after boiling means their flavor won’t be ruined if the soup boils too long, but the hot water will still let the volatile oils permeate the broth.
  7. Blend thoroughly. While the blender is running, add the oil slowly to ensure the oil droplets disperse evenly throughout the soup without clumping.
  8. Serve hot.

prose

A sweet, savory, and slightly creamy blended soup, best served hot. Eggplants lend creaminess, and tomatoes and peppers add sweetness and tanginess. Tomatoes are high in glutamic acid so they add umami. Choose cherry or grape tomatoes for the sweetest soup (their small size also means you don’t have to cut them). Vine-ripened tomatoes taste better that ones that have ripened after picking. Small eggplants are sweeter. Don’t leave out the oil -- a little fat makes the soup creamier and less frothy, and helps you to absorb some of its nutrients. The flavor of oregano marries famously with eggplant and tomato in particular, and oregano may help to preserve food and keep it safe. Rosemary also goes well, and may have beneficial effects on health.

Cooking these vegetables (actually fruits) kills potentially harmful bacteria, makes them easier to digest, and may increase the availability of some nutrients, like lycopene in the tomatoes. Blending also helps digestibility. The water helps to fill and hydrate you without adding calories, but you can replace it with another liquid to add flavor and nutrition. Choose a stainless steel cooking pot to add chromium to your diet.

Humans have been making soup for thousands of years. A soup is an easy and frugal way to combine ingredients into a comforting meal.

tummy tips

  • Unripe peppers (green or purple) cause more issues -- choose red, yellow, or orange.
  • Many commercial vegetable broths/stocks contain common IBS triggers like garlic and onion (FODMAPs) -- be careful choosing or make your own.
  • If you’re sensitive to fiber, consider peeling the vegetables and possibly removing the seeds, or using smaller amounts
  • If you’re sensitive to fat, consider reducing the amount of oil

substitutions

storage

Will store in the fridge in a sealed container for up to a week. To bring with you to work, use a thermos (preferably stainless steel). Boil some water and put it in the thermos for a minute to heat the container. Pour out the water and add the heated soup -- it should stay warm for several hours.