Feel the need to reconnect with your spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend or significant other?

Don’t make reservations. Arrange a dinner date at home. Rekindle a little romance with a special meal for two.

Today’s soup recipe is especially quick and easy because it uses crushed tomato-and-basil pasta sauce and canned chicken broth as its base, allowing you to focus on your partner instead of hours of mealtime preparation. Of course, the recipe can also be doubled or tripled if you want to enjoy leftovers or share it with family members.

Prep time is only 10 minutes, and cook time is 17 minutes. All of the ingredients should be available at your local natural and organic food store.

Eggplant Parmesan Soup

Makes 2 servings

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small Japanese or Italian eggplant, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 1/3 cups (27 ounces) crushed tomato-and-basil pasta sauce
1 can (14.5 ounces) chicken broth
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (about 4 ounces)
2 tablespoons Italian-seasoned dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Crusty Italian bread, if desired

In a 12-inch skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and cook eggplant, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until eggplant is golden and tender.

Stir in sauce and broth. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until thickened.

On cookie sheet, place 2 oven-proof soup bowls or crocks. Evenly spoon soup into crocks, then top with mozzarella cheese, bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.

Broil 2 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden. Serve, if desired, with crusty Italian bread.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Bertolli