Eggplants have several beneficial nutrients and a mild flavor, making them a good addition to a healthy and well-balanced diet. Including eggplant in soup is easy and quick, allowing you to prepare new versions of your favorite recipes. Choose eggplants that have a firm, shiny skin without blemishes. An eggplant will keep in the refrigerator for several days.
You can't throw a whole eggplant into a pot of soup -- they require a little bit of preparation before cooking. The skin of an eggplant is often bitter. Some experts recommend peeling the eggplant, but the skin contains nutrients and softens with cooking. Peeling the eggplant is a matter of personal preference. To do so, wash the eggplant with soap and water and use a peeler or paring knife to remove the skin. Skin-on or peeled, the eggplant cooks better in soup chopped or diced. Use a sharp knife and cut the eggplant into slices, starting from the large end and working toward the narrow top. Cut each slice into cubes.
As an Ingredient
Eggplant works well in vegetable, tomato and bean soups. Its flavor also pairs well with fish or chicken soups. Use eggplant in both broth-based and creamy soups. Raw eggplant is soft and won't require as much cooking time as other vegetables, such as potatoes and carrots. Add eggplant cubes to soups in the last 10 minutes of cooking. An alternative is to roast the eggplant in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until soft and then add them to the soup just before serving.
As a Thickener
Eggplant is a nutritious way to make creamy and pureed soups thicker and easier to eat. The mild taste of eggplant isn't likely to alter the taste of the soup dramatically and may even enhance the flavors of the other ingredients. Roast or boil the eggplant until soft. Cool the eggplant and place in a blender or food processor and puree before adding to the soup. An alternative preparation is to puree the eggplant with the other soup ingredients just before serving. This method works well for tomato soup.
Eggplants are high in moisture, which means they absorb the flavors around them. Season the eggplant before cooking, which allows the herbs or spices you use to soak into the vegetable. Salt, pepper, garlic, curry, thyme and Italian seasoning are choices that pair well with the flavor of eggplant. Large eggplants might have larger than average seeds. Use a small spoon to scoop them out before cooking.