After all the elaborated foods of the holiday’s season, it’s time for some simple, hearty dishes. The following rustic soup, which comes from my maternal grandmother’s Sephardic kitchen, is just what is needed on a cold winter’s day.
The soup is quick and easy to make, and although it contains few ingredients, it is bursting with flavors and textures. The eggplants and chickpeas create a wonderful tasty match. The soup is hearty and filling, yet not heavy at all – just perfect for a light lunch or dinner.
Serve it with fresh rustic bread on the side, and enjoy.
* Other herbs, such as fresh oregano or thyme, can be used instead of sage.
* The soup will taste even better if kept in the fridge overnight.
* For more information about Sepharedic cuisine, check THIS post.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time:20-25 minutes
2 Tbs Olive oil
1 medium onion, diced small
½ tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp cayenne
1 celery stalk, diced small
1 can (15.5oz /440 grams) chickpeas, drained
1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into medium cubes
2 Tbs tomato paste
2 bay leaves
2-3 fresh sage leaves (see notes)
1 strip lemon zest
4 cups water
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
A drizzle of olive oil
1. In a medium size pot, mix the oil, onion, sugar, salt, pepper and cayenne. Sauté on medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes, until the onion softens.
2. Add all rest of ingredients to the pot, mix well and bring to a boil. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Turn the heat to medium and cover the pot.
3. Cook for 20-25 minutes, until the eggplant cubes are soft and translucent.
Discard the bay leaves and lemon zest before serving. Drizzle with fresh lemon juice and olive oil and serve.