Healthy Ratatouille Soup
Loaded with summer vegetables, this hearty and healthy ratatouille soup is low calorie and satisfying. It makes a great vegetarian meal with some warm fresh bread and cheese.
Servings (change as needed): 4
- 3 tablespoon olive oil (not extra virgin)
- 1 medium onion
- 4 garlic cloves (4 teaspoons)
- 1 small eggplant or Japanese egglplant
- 1 zucchini
- 1 red bell pepper (orange, red or yellow)
- 1 can (28 ounce) crushed San Marzano tomatoes, Note 1 (or Fire Roasted tomatoes)
- 2 cups (473 ml) vegetable broth or chicken broth
- 1/4 cup (5 grams) fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped (or more to taste)
- 3 cups (90 grams) fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped (add after soup is cooked)
Seasonings, Note 2
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon rosemary or marjoram
- OPTIONAL: pinch of sugar, bay leaf, pinch of red pepper flakes - or to taste
Toppings/garnish (optional - Note 3)
PREPARE VEGETABLES: Cut onion, red bell pepper, eggplant and zucchini into 2 inch/5 cm. chunks. If using a food processor to speed up chopping, you might need to do two batches. First, process garlic. Then add half the vegetables and pulse several times until chopped into small pieces. (you may still be left with a few pieces that need to be cut further with a knife). Repeat with remaining vegetables. Alternatively, use a knife to mince garlic and dice vegetables.
MAKE SOUP: Heat olive oil to medium-high heat in a large pot. Add chopped vegetables and garlic. Cook for 5-7 minutes stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes with juices, broth, basil and seasonings. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender soft. Stir in fresh spinach until wilted, about 30 seconds. Taste and adjust seasonings including optional pinch of sugar, a splash of cream and/or pinch of red pepper flakes. If soup is too thick, add additional water or broth to taste. Note 4 for variations.
FINISH SOUP AND SERVE: Prepare side dish, topping or garnish for soup if you like, Note 3. Ladle soup into bowls. Add one of the optional toppings as desired or serve with hot fresh bread.
Nutrition values are calculated without the optional garnishes/toppings
- To use fresh tomatoes instead of canned: substitute about 3/4 -1 pound of peeled fresh summer ripe tomatoes. Here's the best way to peel tomatoes.
- Seasoning alterative: Use the salt and pepper as per the recipe as well as 2 teaspoons (or more to taste) of herbes de provence.
- Topping or side dish options:
- For cheese toast
- Heat oven or toaster oven to 425F/218C. Top sliced baguette with grated Parmesan, Gruyere or Emmental cheese . Place on foil-lined pan. Sprinkle with dried basil, pepper or thyme if desired. Bake for 3-5 minutes until cheese is bubbly and toasts are lightly browned.
- Top the soup with croutons.
- Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.
- Sprinkle with chopped fresh basil.
- Drizzle with a store-bought or homemade basil pesto.
- Or, just serve with simple warm crusty bread and butter.
- Vegetable variations
- Use mushrooms instead of eggplant.
- Substitute the fresh spinach with kale.
- Extra add-ins
- Try adding olives, capers or fennel seeds.
- Add cooked diced sausage for a non vegetarian option
- Add even more nutrition
- Add canned chick peas, a diced sweet potato or a 1/2 cup small high-fiber pasta before simmering the soup. These will thicken the soup a bit, so you may need to add more broth.
- Texture and flavor options
- Chunky or smooth: I like to leave the soup chunky, but you can also puree half the soup with an electric immersion blender and leave half chunky. Do this before adding the fresh baby spinach.
- To deepen flavors, you can roast the chopped vegetables on a lined baking sheet in a hot oven (425F/218C) for 15-20 minutes until slightly caramelized or browned.
- For a mellower or creamier soup, top with or mix in a dollop of sour cream or yogurt or cream.
- Seasoning: Substitute herbes to provence for the seasonings in the recipe if you like. You can also use fresh herbs to replace the dried herbs. Use 1 1/2-2 teaspoons fresh thyme and 1 teaspoon rosemary - add at the end of cooking.
- Make Ahead
- Store leftover soup (without garnishes) in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days
- Freeze soup for up to 3 months. Defrost and heat in microwave or on stove top.
Calories: 184kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 1225mg | Potassium: 824mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 3536IU | Vitamin C: 68mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 3mg