When the cold bites: Rice and Aubergine Soup Recipe (Minestra di Melanzane e Riso pugliese)

Aubergine is one of the most classic south Italian vegetables, often you can find it into pasta sauces, but not in soups. This  aubergine and rice soup has originated from Puglia, a beautiful Italian South area and the mother of very exquisite Mediterranean and “cucina povera” recipes. The rice introduced to Italy by the Arabs are the other star in our very simple but super-tasty recipe perfect to prevent cold and coughs.


  • 3/4 cup (150 g) rice
  • 3 medium eggplants, stemmed and cubed
  • A medium onion
  • An egg
  • A small bunch parsley, minced
  • A dozen fresh basil leaves, shredded
  • A quart (1 liter) of vegetable broth
  • 1 cup (50 g) freshly grated Parmigiano or mild Romano cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Put the cubed aubergine in a sieve, sprinkle it abundantly with salt, and let it set for a couple of hours to get rid of the bitter taste the aubergine brings. While it’s setting, chop the onion together with the herbs.
  2. Heat the broth to a simmer.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot and sauté the onions and the herbs already chopped up. Rinse the aubergine well and drain it.
  4. When the onions begin to soften, add the diced aubergine and keep on cooking for about 10 minutes, stirring fairly often.
  5. Add in the simmering broth and the rice. Cook all together, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until the rice is soften. In the while, beat the egg and mix the cheese into it.
  6. When the rice is ready, remove the pot from the fire, add a cup of broth into the egg mixture, and then stir the egg mixture into the aubergine and rice soup.
  7. A little more olive oil and serve.

Total Time: 60 minutes

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