Chicken Soup with Eggplant

It’s been nine weeks. Nine whole weeks since we began this odyssey. And, slowly but surely, it’s starting to pay off – Victor is down 19 pounds, I’m down 17 1/2. Hallelujah!

I hafta tell ya, though, this has not been the easiest thing I have ever done. Our trainer is really starting to push – and there are moments when I’m not sure I’m going to survive. Trying to breathe and catch a breath is the hardest part – other than trying to lift some godforsaken thing over my head or trying to pull myself up just one more time – when I have 12 more to go after that. Piece of cake. A walk in the park. The seventh circle of hell.

But… we’re getting there – and that’s the whole reason we’re doing this.

I’m rather enjoying the eating habit change, although it’s still a bit strange getting a new cooking magazine and not immediately heading into the kitchen to try out the latest gooey dessert. On the other hand, I like feeling full after eating a lot less that I used to. And I do feel better.

The next test is Wednesday when I go in for my annual physical – I’m curious as to what the numbers are going to be…

And speaking of eating… It’s rapidly becoming soup season! I’m rushing it just a little bit, but I do love soups! I did a clean-out-the-refrigerator pot this evening – Eggplant and Chicken! It worked.

Eggplant and Chicken Soup

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 leek
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 bell pepper
  •  1 hot red pepper
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 carrots
  • 6 small red bliss potatoes
  • 3 green onions
  • 6 oz cooked chicken
  • 1 1/2 qts chicken stock
  • 1 can diced green peppers
  • 1 can great northern beans
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp sumac
  • 1 tsp ras el hanout
  • salt and pepper

Cut eggplant in half, rub with olive oil, sprinkle with cumin, salt, and pepper, and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes. Cool enough to handle.

Meanwhile, saute onion, leeks, garlic, red pepper, and bell pepper in a pot. When wilted, add spices and cook about 30 seconds. Add broth.

Scoop eggplant pulp into pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes.

Using an immersion blender, blend everything to a smooth consistency.

Add chopped carrots, celery, chopped tomatoes, quartered potatoes, and drained beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer about 10 minutes.

Add cooked chicken and heat through.

Taste for seasonings and adjust, as necessary.

Ladle into bowls and top with chopped green onions.

As I said – a clean-out-the-‘fridge soup. And it worked on every level. Just enough spice to make it interesting, the eggplant made the broth creamy like a bean soup, and everything else made it hearty and filling – perfect for those of us who are watching what we eat!

Tomorrow is going to be the test – we’re heading up to New York City for the day. Coney Island. I’ve never been there. Weather permitting, we’ll be walking across the Brooklyn Bridge and catch the subway in Brooklyn down to the amusement park.

I see a Nathan’s Hot Dog in my future…