We’re Having Valerie Bertinelli Soup for Dinner!

There’s no place like Tuscany for soup!

(Photo courtesy of flickr.com)

Eggplant: The beauty is more than skin deep (Photo courtesy of flickr.com)

Oh thank you, Valerie Bertinelli,  for your wonderful Tuscan-style soup recipe! I am so excited! I spent last October in Tuscany with a painting group and I really enjoyed the food and the wine and most of all the soups that preceded every meal.

As soon as I came home I started collecting Tuscan soup recipes and I have been making something different every day. I know these soups are supposed to be very healthy, but the truth is I’m putting on a bit of weight. Could this be from all the bread I eat with the soup?

Meet the soup maker

I’m a retired engineer, writer, and soup maker. I got into the soup side after listening to a woman – not my wife – complain about the hardships of cooking. I went into the kitchen, took down a recipe book from the shelf, and proceeded to make a passable pot of bean soup. Not only did I find the task relatively easy, I found it relaxing. I mentally composed an article as I was blending the beans. (Reminder: Buy a new, hand-held blender; the old one is burned out. Reminder: Request a payday loan to buy the blender; the bank account is running on empty.)

Meet Jenny and Valerie

The recipe came to me courtesy of Valerie Bertinelli a spokesperson for Jenny Craig, Inc.  Jenny Craig is a weight loss, weight management, and nutrition company headquartered in Carlsbad, California. The company was founded in Melbourne, Australia, in 1983 and was established in the United States in 1985. The company became a part of Nestlé Nutrition in 2006. For this and other favorite Jenny Craig dishes visit www.jennycraig.com.

Eggplant blossoms are as beautiful as the fruit is delicious (photo courtesy of wikimedia.org)

Eggplant: The blossoms are as lovely as the fruit (Photo courtesy of wikimedia.org)

Meet the eggplant

The Valerie Bertinelli Soup recipe has eggplant as an ingredient. The eggplant, (aka aubergine or brinjal), is a member of the Solanaceae plant family, commonly known as the nightshades.

The smooth, shiny, ovoid, purple to blackish-purple or white fruit of the eggplant is highly valued as a flavor-holding, culinary ingredient. Closely related to other nightshades like tomatoes and potatoes, eggplant is native to Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lank, and India.

Any fruit or vegetable that can survive the monsoon rains, floods, and other natural disasters of such native lands doesn’t deserve to end up in the soup —  but it certainly imparts a wonderful texture and flavor.  I whipped up a quick version of the Valerie Bertinelli Soup recipe and it was delicious!

Coming soon: An Engineer’s Guide to Soup Making

My personal soup recipe collection continues to grow and I am seriously considering publishing it in the form of a book. I have already decided on the name: “An Engineer’s Guide to Soup Making.” I think it will be a winner and will attract many men into the kitchen. With the Valerie Bertinelli Soup recipe to start with, you can’t go wrong!