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There are days like today when I remember that the sweet success of self control can taste better than two slices of pumpkin cake with butterscotch filling and brown sugar icing snuck from the fridge when no one is looking.

Better than spoonful after spoonful of peppermint brownie batter from the stand mixer bowl when you find yourself baking for lab meeting at 10pm on a cold and kind of rainy Tuesday night.  (How else are you going to distract everyone from the fact that absolutely zero of your experiments are working?  Here’s to crossing our fingers for scientific success in the new year.)

Better than Hershey’s candy cane kisses that you always somehow manage to eat twenty of even though you swear to yourself up and down, every time, that you’ll only have one.  (Why do you ask the impossible of yourself when it’s so much easier not to start than it is to stop?)

All of which are absolutely delicious, don’t get me wrong (and are all coincidentally going on my kitchen. Right. Now. Save. Me.)

But.

The feeling of waking up and knowing that you held the reins.  That your stomach isn’t crying out in sugar overdose.  That you actually are capable of doing this.

Tastes way better than the transient pleasure that a slice of cake can afford.  And it’ll stay with you for much longer.

(NOTE – Remind me of this in a few days when I’m knee deep in flour, butter and sugar again and that container of cream cheese frosting in my freezer sounds like the cure to any and all holiday baking stress. Mmkay?)

(NOTE x2 – Why do I even do things like freeze cream cheese frosting?  I’m totally asking for it.  How is that a good idea?  Ever?)

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As you may have guessed, I’m on a bit of a high at the moment.

A I-have-three-kinds-of-cake-in-my-fridge-right-now-and-didn’t-eat-any-of-them-last-night-though-I-really-wanted-to high.

A I-lost-1.2-pounds-this-week-even-though-I-went-out-to-eat-and-ate-the-creamiest-butternut-squash-soup-of-my-life-and-dessert-times-three high.

A yay-my-pictures-of-eggplant-soup-don’t-look-quite-as-much-like-vomit-in-a-bowl-as-I-thought-they-would (!!!) high.

A I-tried-on-a-dress-on-Monday-and-didn’t-need-to-medicate-myself-with-chocolate-afterward high.

This is the good stuff, people. Inhale.  Deeply.

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This week was yet another reminder for me that every day does not have to be perfect in order for me to be successful.  Which is so hard for me to internalize because for some reason, I’ve ingrained this idea that being healthy is black or white.  Either I am or I’m not and once I indulge for the day, I might as well throw in the towel and go all out.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.  Because it’s not the one slice of cake that’s going to do the damage.  It’s all of chocolate and the cookies and the peanut butter I’m going to eat afterward that do.

To combat that, this week. I planned.

I planned light dinners on days that I knew that there would be lunch out.  Lots of exercise on nights that I knew would involve birthday cake.  And it worked.  Fancy that.

One of those light dinners was this curried eggplant soup.  It’s sweet and spicy and has a lot of staying power due to the white beans that are pureed into it and all the fiber from the eggplant and apple that are mixed in there as well.  (Yes, there’s an apple in it.  Trust me. It’s a good move.)

And, um. Minus the feta I threw on top for photogenic-izing purposes. It’s vegan.

Speaking of veganism (and inhaling), let’s talk Bill Clinton.  Whatever you feel about his reign as president or political ethos or sexual antics, I think we can all agree that it’s pretty amazing that the man who was a total burger/steak/cholesterol fiend has lost 24 pounds by switching to a vegan diet.  (I realize this is old news by now, but to some of us who don’t own a tv and sit in lab staring at glowing cells all day…it’s pretty much front page stuff.  So humor me.)

This week at Eat.Live.Be. our theme is to find inspiration from television and to my non-tv-owning-self, YouTube is television.  So here’s a clip of Clinton talking about his weight loss and dietary change.  Proof that eating plant-based meals, even if not all the time, is such a great and easy way to help you get healthy.  Load yourself up with veggies and that piece of cake (or two) you ate after dinner aren’t quite as bad as if you ate them with after a burger and fries.

So tell me, what are you guys doing to counteract all of the indulgent food we are inevitably going to be eating this week?  What is your damage control plan-of-action?

And here’s your daily dose of inspiration.  Love this.  Because while the going (and the sacrifice) isn’t always easy…it’ll be worth it when we get there.

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Curried Eggplant Soup
Serves 4, adapted from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tart apple, Granny Smith or Braeburn, diced
  • 15 oz canned diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 1/2 tbsp good quality curry powder
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 15 oz can great northern or white beans, drained
  • 4 cups vegetable broth, divided
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • cilantro and feta cheese, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Peel the eggplant and slice it 1/4-inch thick. Place the slices on a sprayed baking sheet and cover with foil. Roast until eggplant is very tender, about 30 minutes.
  2. Remove the eggplant from the oven and allow to cool. Put the slices into a large pot. Add 3 cups of the vegetable broth and bring to a low simmer.
  3. Spray a non-stick skillet with cooking spray and get it hot. Add the onions and sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the diced apple and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato, curry powder, cayenne, soy sauce, and honey and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the reserved 1 cup of broth and cook another minute. Pour this mixture into the pot with the eggplant.
  4. Add the beans to the pot.  Puree using an immersion blender (or put in a food processor/blender and process).  Stir in the milk.  Season to taste with salt and black pepper.  Simmer on very low heat for 15 minutes.
  5. Serve hot or chilled, sprinkled with parsley or cilantro and/or crumbled feta.

I am submitting this to Souper Sundays hosted by Deb at Kahakai Kitchen.

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You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at https://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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66 Responses to Curried Eggplant Soup…Eat.Live.Be

  1. Danielle says:

    This soup sounds delicious. Great post Joanne – Last week I added running to my workout regimine to counteract my holiday indulgences – hopefully I stick with it past the holidays though.

  2. Rachana says:

    This looks so inviting. I am gonna make this soon 🙂

  3. I do love this soup and am intrigued by the apple! But even more, I love this post! Your high is contagious and I am so proud of you, LOVE!

  4. Simply Life says:

    I love this soup and this post and am definitely impressed you made it look appetizing- soup pictures (and eggplant) are always hard to photography!

  5. Danielle says:

    I loved reading this post! That soup looks excellent (and you’re right, great photo considering the color). It is a very tough time to stay skinny and I have also been working very very hard at it lately. Thank you for reminding me that I’m not alone in this fight.

  6. Way to go, Joanne. I was just thinking the same thing yesterday… while the food might taste good, it feels better not to have that sugar rush and feel uber full in a few hours. And even better if you lose weight while you’re at it!

    Your soup looks great! Love the hidden beans! 🙂

  7. Joe Lyons says:

    Excellent post, Joanne.

  8. This soup looks delicious, Joanne! I’m definitely making this for dinner on Friday.

    Do you think that I could substitute the almond milk for regular dairy milk? My grocery only carries ginormous cartons of almond milk, and my boyfriend is less likely to consume what is left after the soup has been made.

  9. Nice post. Regarding Bill losing weight, I didn’t know that. I wonder how much of it was due to turning vegan, and how much was due to stress, due to something he did or did not do, depending on technical definition:)

  10. Lora says:

    omg this soup looks amazing. The more feta the merrier I say. As for counteracting holiday indulgence? Three words. I. give. Up.

  11. brocstar says:

    Fantastic post.. congrats on your successes this week! Not indulging feels SO good after the fact.

    I had not heard of Bill Clinton’s weight loss… I guess I’m also behind the times and with you on the no-tv-and-in-the-“lab”-all-day!

    Today I have my running attire set out on bed so when I come home from the hospital and go to change, it will be screaming mean things at me if I don’t put it on.

  12. Nicole, RD says:

    You are a weight loss machine! Congrats! Not that you have anything to lose, my gosh. This soup looks FANTASTIC! I can see why you were a bit worried, but nope…looks incredible 🙂 As always 🙂

  13. Ruth Daniels says:

    What a fantastic inspiration you are! And I can’t wait to pick up an eggplant. This is one dish my usually eggplant averse Honey will love! I just won’t tell him the star of the dish ; -)

    Have a joyous Christmas and keep on sharing your writing and your recipes with the rest of us Joanne wanna-be’s

  14. These are, as usual, incredible photos!! I’m pretty sure my recent butternut squash dal looked like vomit – this most definitely does not!

  15. Jenna says:

    I really loved this post, Joanne. You’re right–the sweetness of self-control is better than the pleasure of indulgence. And I’m so impressed with your pictures–I have such trouble photographing soups. SUCH TROUBLE. You made this soup look utterly delicous, and I know how challenging that can be with something brown and liquidy! (okay, that makes it sound kind of gross, but you know what I mean)

  16. Claudia says:

    I hear you. I’ve been eating light all week because of holiday eating coming up and recent past. And while there are 200 cookies floating around my home…everyone else is eating them and I chip at 2 a day. (I wake up feeling virtuous – an unusual feeling for me.) Saving this recipe – because one more week of holiday eating (why don’t I just say – over-indulging) is coming up and I want some armor. And I want tasty armor – not celery. You have to freeze cream cheese frosting. You cannot waste. (My excuse.) Hoping your week is merry and bright.

  17. Amy says:

    I’m on my 11th (DOUBLE) batch of candied pecans. That’s 22 pounds of pecans. And not all of them were given away *ahem*. I’ve also lost count of all the cookies and powdered sugar I’ve consumed in the last 2 weeks. Talk about needing a bowl of healthy soup. And goodness NO…that does not look like vomit. Lol. But I know what you mean – some foods really make you work for it.

  18. Claudie says:

    “This week was yet another reminder for me that every day does not have to be perfect in order for me to be successful” –> I think that’s one of the most important lessons that is sooo difficult to learn and yet, makes our life so much easier and happier once we learn it. I love, love your attitude, and I love your soup too! I made an eggplant chili last night, but now I wish I had saved some eggplant for this 🙂

  19. Joanne, your pictures are so beautiful. I just love the lighting in these shots…and what a wonderful idea for soup. Full of flavour and nutrients; delightful. Enjoyed your inspirational message too!

  20. Juliana says:

    Joanne, you just saved me with this recipe…I have a couple of eggplants that are in the fridge…perfect with curry and a touch of sweet. Love it!
    Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones 🙂

  21. Shannon says:

    I’m with you on notex2! but this recipe sounds absolutely amazing 🙂 perfect way to balance the craziness, too. perhaps there is a bowl of this waiting for me at my apartment?

  22. Debbie says:

    I’ve never thought of pairing eggplant with curry. This sounds delicious!

  23. I’ve never seen a recipe for Eggplant soup. I’m definitely going to try this!

  24. Christine says:

    Wonderful post today. I think this approach really helps with the “crash” that often occurs when the holidays are over, be it sugar related or not. I’m spreading my holiday over the next two weeks with a treat every other day or so. Still feel special but not facing a brick wall after New Year’s. Clinton’s video was great. I don’t have a TV either 🙂 Congratulations on your 1.2 loss, very inspirational!

  25. sophia says:

    Dude. Did you get that Foodbuzz email on food of the month? You should submit this and get featured.

  26. Mari says:

    “There are days like today when I remember that the sweet success of self control can taste better than two slices of pumpkin cake with butterscotch filling and brown sugar icing snuck from the fridge when no one is looking” I have to remind myself this, EVERY DAY! some days are easier than others!

    I miss you!

  27. Mari says:

    ohhh me again…i cooked with curry for the first time…be proud! ha xoxo

  28. OohLookBel says:

    Your pictures of the soup look very appetising. Really! I wish my brown food looked as good. PS: At my work Christmas lunch yesterday, I ordered the vegetarian option for starter and it was eggplant – it tasted good but your soup looks better.

  29. You never cease to amaze me. This looks so delicious! You had me at eggplant….

  30. tigerfish says:

    Talking about this, I am in need of an immersion blender so that I can make similar dishes like that! This dish is so good in the cold nights.

  31. Erica says:

    You are my idol! I love all these vegetarian recipes….Apples and eggplant…Delicious combo!Merry Christmas to you an your family!

  32. Donna says:

    You mean there’s more to do with eggplant than parmesan???

  33. That Girl says:

    I find it hard to believe that anything is better than pumpkin cake with butterscotch filling and brown sugar icing.

  34. Corina says:

    Gorgeous soup – I know I should be eating more healthily at the moment but I’m afraid I’m not. I love eggplant though so I will try to be inspired!

  35. daphne says:

    I would not have thought to combine eggplant, curry and soup together. That’s wonderful! nice, thick and warm..

  36. Hi Joanne! Interessting eggplant recipe, I ll try youir recipe out. I am bit like u when its about life and success. its either black or white, there is no inbetween for me. I trying to learn that there is some gray in the world too. 😉

  37. Great video regarding Clinton’s weight loss! You are our inspiration, Joanne, without another healthy recipe.

  38. GO YOU for losing 1.2 pounds this week!! So great! The best thing about your recipes is that you never make healthy boring. Healthy soups can be just as delicious, if not more delicious than pumpkin cake with butterscotch filling. After the holidays, I only ever crave veggies and healthy things. This is definitely going on my menu for next week.

  39. What a wonderful combo of eggplant, apple and spices! I bet it tasted fabulous…

  40. You’ll laugh, but I had no idea about Bill’s transformation. I also do not own a tv! and in all fairness live in Canada where I don’t get inundated with media stuff as much. It’s amazing how much proof there is around us that adding more vegetables into our diet can make a HUGE difference yet so few of the country does. fascinating.

  41. Faith says:

    LOVE this post. I’m trying to healthify my eating lately too…and you are such an inspiration, girl. Love the soup!

    And I actually hadn’t heard of Clinton becoming vegan and losing weight (yes, I live under a rock, lol!) — wow!

  42. I knew he lost weight laying off the Mickey D’s but no idea he was vegan! He looks wonderful, too! That’s a great looking soup, love the combination of eggplant and apples!

  43. Hotly Spiced says:

    No, that does not look like vomit in a bowl and I should know as a mother of three and an ex-nurse. That is a great looking soup and perfect for your unseasonably mild winter. Have a very Merry Christmas Joanne xx

  44. Elizabeth says:

    I love eggplant and curry. I’d totally eat this soup solely with naan or other bread that scoops well

  45. I enjoyed reading this post. Sometimes that’s how the conversation I have in my head with myself sound, lol. Tug of war, I say!

    Thanks for sharing this eggplant recipe. We have plenty at our farmers market and always look for eggplant recipes that are not laden with cheese. Although, I do make eggplant parmesan (using almond flour) for my husband often, it’s his favorite.

    I recently discovered your blog and I have enjoyed reading it.

    ~ Lea

  46. Eggplant and apples??? Wowwww! Your recipes are always so creative and mind blowing! HAppy holidaysssss!

  47. Reeni says:

    There’s so much goodness in this soup I would rather have it then sweets any day! It always helps to have something like this to reach for instead of the goodies!

  48. Carolyn Jung says:

    I like the feta on top. I think you deserve it, too. Sounds like you’ve been quite virtuous, so a little cheese is definitely called for. 😉

  49. Hannah says:

    So happy to hear about your successes, Joanne! Those are definitely all things to be proud of. I swear, I’ve eaten more sugar this past week than the rest of the year combined… I really wish I was on such a healthy path instead!

  50. Sanjeeta kk says:

    And you said curried Eggplant for a soup!! Hmm..have to really cook it to believe it 🙂

  51. Congrats on all your wins this week. 😉 This looks like the perfect bowl of soup–so hearty and full of flavor. Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays.

  52. Deborah says:

    I can’t say I haven’t been indulging at all, but I’ve actually done pretty well and managed to lose a little bit of weight. This soup looks amazing, and I know I’d love it!

  53. Kevin says:

    What a tasty and healthy sounding soup!

  54. Yum. I have just been craving eggplant and this is the perfect recipe to make!

  55. Vegolicious says:

    Wow, your soup looks amazingly delicious and nutritious.

    I’d love for you to submit it to Vegolicious, a gallery of the best vegetarian recipes available on the web. You can submit your soup here http://www.vegolicious.com/submit

  56. What you did, planning lighter meals and exercise on days when you knew you’d be eating indulgent foods makes total sense. Yet I did not think of making such a brilliant plan. I think my plan was mostly to not stuff myself, stop when I was full, and drink green monster smoothies when I could so I knew I’d be getting lots of fruit and vegetables for breakfast at least. And this soup? Yumm.

  57. Nicole says:

    Wow – that looks absolutely amazing! yeah on eating right! I brought a scale with me on christmas vacation so i could see the damage right away!!

  58. Anonymous says:

    I just made this, subbed a carrot for the apple, and yogurt for the feta, and it was AMAZING. Thanks!!

  59. MegFridirici says:

    I just finished making this soup! It’s soo good! I roasted a red bell pepper along with the eggplant and a whole head of garlic (yum) the soy sauce adds such a wonderful dimension and it has just the slightest kick of spice. PERFECT-O!!!!

  60. Anonymous says:

    Hi, I just made this soup and wanted to heap praises on the recipe because I am in HEAVEN! I put in a cup of whole milk, and I also used some garam masala as well as curry powder. Those are the only changes I made. SO AMAZING! Thank you for sharing this.

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