Hidden Richness – A Soup of the Week Post

I used to hate eggplant.

I think it has something to do with an overcooked eggplant Parmesan somewhere in my youth. But eggplant being much like anything else, once we have a bad experience, we tend to forever loathe and avoid the offending situation – or vegetable, as the case may be.

Since joining our local CSA a couple of years ago, I’ve rediscovered eggplant. When vegetables show up in the farm share each week, I feel morally obligated to like them, or at least find a way to live with them. And so I’ve experimented with ways to enjoy eggplant, most of them successful. I even made an eggplant Parm that wasn’t too bad.

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Last week, my husband brought home two aubergine beauties from the farm (not the ones in the photo – this week’s were much darker) and I immediately planned to make eggplant Parmesan for my mom. Life got in the way and it didn’t happen. If you know anything about eggplants, you know that you need to use those babies within a day or two or you end up with a very unattractive not-so-aubergine mass on your counter or in your fridge.

Since they were still perfectly edible but just this side of too soft for eggplant parm, I searched for another way to make that eggplant disappear. And I had to feed it to my Hub and Kidzilla – both professed non-eggplanters, despite many efforts to convert them.

Sigh.

As luck would have it, I found this recipe for Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Soup with Fresh Herbs over at Sumptuous Spoonfuls. (Via Pinterest, of course, because where else do you go to figure out what to do with soft eggplant?) The post promised the eggplant would disappear into the soup, leaving behind only a delightful buttery finish, not the taste of eggplant.

Sold!

And so I made it. And the Hub and Zilla ate it. Twice. They genuinely liked it. As I was dishing up the leftover soup the following night, I got to thinking about soup and life…because that’s what I do.

Sometimes life hands us the beautiful and everything goes as planned. We get the job we hoped for, complete the project, or lose that ten pounds. And other times we are left with slightly soft eggplant. It’s usable, but perhaps not desirable. Rather than toss those declining eggplants, perhaps we can find a way to repurpose and transform them into something delicious. (Can you tell I watched Chopped last night?)

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The eggplant did indeed disappear into the soup. You could tell it wasn’t straight-up conventional tomato soup, but it was delicious. It turned out sort of buttery and elegant, with a hidden richness that tomatoes alone would not provide.

Maybe life is like that, too – not quite what we expect or plan and not quite perfect, but with an underlying richness that comes from embracing all of the imperfections we encounter along the way.

Serve this soup with a fresh green salad and some rustic crusty bread for a light and satisfying dinner. And the next time life hands you some not-so-perfect eggplant, consider what richness you can create with what you have been given.

Mangiare bene vivere felici!

Eat well and live happy!

 

Soup of the Week – Healing Cabbage Soup for a Cold

Know what you do when you suddenly come into an abundance of cabbage heads?

You make soup!

At least that’s what I do…

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For the last couple of years, we have split a CSA share with my Husband’s parents. As our season ended this fall, they were out of town so we inherited both halves of the share, including several beautiful heads of cabbage. I offered some to people I knew who might want it, but no takers. So I started thinking about what to do… Continue reading “Soup of the Week – Healing Cabbage Soup for a Cold”

TToT – Transitions and Getting Back on Track

Fall has always been a time of transition and fresh starts for me.

This year is no different. The change of seasons itself is a beautiful time of change – for me, the move from hot and humid to cool and comfortable is glorious. And I love the color changes, too. Although the fresh, bright greens of summer are beautiful in their own right, there is something special about the first pops of autumn color. And I’m looking forward to seeing more in the coming weeks.

Fall Trees

And even though I am no longer teaching, the start of a new school year always feel like a New Year’s of sorts – a time to get back into a routine, start something new, get a fresh perspective. Clean book covers, new school shoes, empty notebooks and freshly-sharpened pencils get me every time, even if they aren’t mine.

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Continue reading “TToT – Transitions and Getting Back on Track”

TToT – Simple Practicality

There is nothing quite so satisfying as practical wisdom.

While I suppose it’s presumptuous to call myself “wise,” I can at least admit honestly that I found several occasions this week that called for some practical application of knowledge and somehow I got it right!

And in the spirit of being practical, I need to be quick about this because I’m late to publish and I have a list of things to do yet after this post. So let’s be about the business of thankfulness, shall we? Continue reading “TToT – Simple Practicality”

Soup of the Week – Matzah Ball Redux

Hello, friends!

Happy Easter, Happy Passover, and/or Happy Spring to all of you!

Tulips

While Zilla and I are celebrating Easter Week, this week is also Passover for the Fab Hub. I’m working on a traditional Passover favorite – matzah ball soup.

Continue reading “Soup of the Week – Matzah Ball Redux”

Soup of the Week – Green Soup Surprise and a Side Car

Life is full of surprises, isn’t it?

Just about the time we felt sort of confident about the arrival of spring, temps dropped into the ridiculous range. Despite the warm temps today, the wind blew cold and the forecast says snow again. It may be just “a quick clipper,” but still.

No matter the temperature, though, there is always soup. I haven’t been sharing Soup of the Week too much lately because we’ve been doing a lot of repeats. I suppose I should find something to share in place of those. I’ll work on that. In the meantime, I have a double-feature for you today – a new spin on an old soup and a sandwich to go along.

Butternut Stoup 4

 

Let’s take a look… Continue reading “Soup of the Week – Green Soup Surprise and a Side Car”

Smoothie Scandal (And A Soup of the Week Update)

I have been the victim of a smoothie scandal.

OK, it was not exactly a scandal, but it could have been for like five minutes.

Remember a couple of months ago I did a post about Williams Sonoma asking me to be part of their Smoothie Week? Well I was of course flattered and kind of floored that anyone would actually notice my little blog, so I did the post and that, as they say, was that. I never heard another word. Continue reading “Smoothie Scandal (And A Soup of the Week Update)”

Once Upon a Year or Two Ago

Sometimes it’s nice to take a look at where we’ve been.

Every now and then I take a look through photo albums, old letters, piles of filing in my office that need to be handled…but I haven’t done much backward observation here on my blog. Today’s as good a day as any, so come along with me and let’s visit the ghosts of blog posts past… Continue reading “Once Upon a Year or Two Ago”

Soup of the Week – Spiced Cauliflower and Sudden Growth

I am alone today.

I was alone yesterday, too. Kidzilla is in school for the second day in a row with no snow day or delayed start. The Hub’s ankle is feeling better and he went back to work yesterday. I and the Rotten Cats are quietly and peacefully doing our thing.

I miss them, though, even if I do enjoy the solitude and the time to get things accomplished. My productivity is different when they are home. It’s not non-existent; it’s just different.

As I sat here yesterday, I was a bit nervous. Kidzilla was on a field trip – her first without one of us along as a chaperone. That drew a lot of my attention; I am prone to worry about such things. It was a short trip and there were plenty of teachers, of course. My Mom assured me it would be fine and that the school hadn’t lost any kids to date. (Like she never worried her head off when one of us was on a trip without her. Sure.) Of course it would be fine, but I still said an extra prayer or two that all would be well and that Zilla would behave herself.

This trip was a first. And it’s just one more in a long string of firsts, but I started thinking about all the other firsts Zilla’s had lately and it occurred to me that she is growing very fast. Too fast. All of a sudden, there are so many things that are different… Continue reading “Soup of the Week – Spiced Cauliflower and Sudden Growth”

TToT – The One in Which I Tell You All of the Things

The Internet swallowed me.

It seriously did. I hopped on the social media bandwagon and then…overwhelm. So many people – so many good people – to meet. And so many really amazing things to read. I couldn’t keep up. So I buried my head in the sand, stepped back, and said “whoa.” I am truly so excited to “meet” and talk with so many great bloggers. I just feel like I can’t possibly read everything, tweet everything, follow everybody…yikes!

I’ll get there. Baby steps.

I love what it’s doing for the #1000Speak campaign, though. There is so much good out there and to see it all come through that Facebook page…it’s also overwhelming, but in a whole different way. A good way.

#1000SpeakFlower

So while the Internet was gnawing on me, I was writing my little fingers off. Not posting any of it, mind you, but writing my little fingers off. It’s all coming, I promise. Well some of it – a lot of the writing is for the books, not the blog. But I still owe you a smoothie story and the two soups. I’m way behind on Soup of the Week. I have some more of Kidzilla’s wisdom to share, and lots more in process in the drafts box.

So here’s what’s been happening around here this week. The thankfuls are all here… Continue reading “TToT – The One in Which I Tell You All of the Things”