Spicy Eggplant Soup with Chickpeas and Olives

Makes 9 cups (2.25 L)

Since there are references to eggplant in the ancient language of Sanskrit, it is thought that this fruit is native to the Indian subcontinent. Historians believe that eggplant was introduced to the Middle East, Africa, and Europe along the Silk Road as early as the sixth century. This soup has an excellent balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrate and provides iron and other minerals.

1 tablespoon (15 mL) coconut or olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
3 cups (750 mL) diced eggplants
1 cup (250 mL) diced carrots
1 cup (250 mL) diced red bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups (1.25 L) water or vegetable stock
2 cups (500 mL) cooked or canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup (250 mL) chopped fresh or canned tomatoes
1/2 cup (125 mL) pitted kalamata olives, chopped
2 teaspoons (10 mL) ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon (5 mL) salt (less if using salted vegetable stock)
1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh parsley
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook the onion for 3 to 5 minutes or until translucent. Add the eggplant, carrots, bell pepper, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Add the water, chickpeas, tomatoes, olives, cumin, cayenne, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and cook on low heat for 20 minutes. Adjust the seasoning, stir in the parsley, and serve.

Per cup (250 mL): calories: 112, protein: 4 g, fat: 4 g, carbohydrate: 17 g (5 g from sugar), dietary fibre: 4 g, calcium: 47 mg, iron: 2 mg, magnesium: 33 mg, phosphorus: 92 mg, potassium: 338 mg, sodium: 350 mg, zinc: 1 mg, thiamin: 0.1 mg, riboflavin: 0.1 mg, niacin: 2 mg, vitamin B6: 0.2 mg, folate: 85 mcg, pantothenic acid: 0.3 mg, vitamin B12: 0 mcg, vitamin A: 167 mcg, vitamin C: 41 mg, vitamin E: 1 mg, omega-6 fatty acids: 0.6 g, omega-3 fatty acids: 0 g

Percentage of calories from protein 15%, fat 28%, carbohydrate 57%