I once read that every good soup tells a story. So true!
These soups definitely tell a story.
They were born out of the quarantine period of the COVID-19 pandemic when I spent countless days being cooped up in a one-bedroom, New York City apartment with no outdoor space and a lot of extra time on my hands. I needed to focus on something positive, challenging, and delicious. I began by transforming a handful of favorite dishes into soup versions, or, in my parlance, I SOUPified them. My desire soon grew into a full cookbook of SOUPified recipes—which has never been done before.
These thirty-one recipes (plus supporting recipes) are the weekend comfort food soups of your dreams—hearty compilations of flavor, color, and texture, many of which are meals in and of themselves. They are intended to bring people together around the cutting board, stove, and of course, the table. Whimsical and fun, they are meant to be shared!
EGGPLANT PARM SOUP
Back when I was in cooking school, the local news briefly interviewed me for a quick segment about a topic that I cannot recall. What I remember is that I was unbelievably nervous to be interviewed and be on TV. In fact, I had to do so many retakes because I kept laughing when I answered. Why was I laughing? Well, as I said, I was super nervous. But, the reporter also had a huge red lipstick stain on her teeth that I could not unsee, and she was only a couple of inches from my face. Hey, I did the best I could. At the end of the interview, she asked me what my favorite dish was and I blurted out without thinking, “my mom’s eggplant parm!” It was not a very cheffy answer; I didn’t say steak au poivre or sole meunière or beef bourguignon, as many culinary students would have said at that point. No, at that moment of nervous laughter in a very uncomfortable situation, the first thing that I thought of was something that clearly meant pure comfort to me.
Years later, it still does. And it always will. How I yearn for my mom’s eggplant parm—a dish that she made time and again for our family, with more love than an army of professional chefs.I am thrilled to make this the first recipe in my first cookbook. This is my mom’s eggplant parm through and through—crispy, breaded layers of very thinly sliced eggplant, melted mozzarella cheese, and sweet tomato sauce—in soup form. I hope you love it as much as I do.
Click the photo below to purchase SOUPified: Soups Inspired by Your Favorite Dishes on Amazon