This stew-like soup is lusty with bold flavors. While the eggplant is draining, you have time to prepare the rest of the ingredients. Serve the finished stew piping hot with some crusty bread, a glass of wine, and a video of Melina Mercouri in Never on Sunday. If you add a little salad or two, your meal can become an epic feast for epicureans.
- 1 medium eggplant, peeled and cubed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- 2 cups diced potatoes
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup cut green beans (1-inch pieces)
- 2 cups chopped red and/or green bell peppers
- 2 cups chopped fresh or un-drained canned tomatoes (14-ounce can)
- ½ cup dry red wine
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped pitted kalamata olives (about 12 large)*
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon drained capers
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- grated feta or Kasseri cheese, or plain nonfat yogurt (optional)
- To remove any bitterness, place the cubed eggplant in a colander, sprinkle it with salt, and cover it with a plate weighted down with a heavy can. Set the colander in a bowl or the sink; allow the eggplant to drain for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse well and set aside to drain again.
- Warm the olive oil in a heavy, nonreactive soup pot; add the onions and garlic and sauté on medium-high heat until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.
- Add the eggplant and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the potatoes, oregano, red pepper flakes, and water; cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the green beans, bell peppers, tomatoes, and wine.
- Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
- Add the olives, parsley, lemon juice, capers, and dill and heat thoroughly.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- If desired, top each serving with cheese or yogurt.
* To pit, slice lengthwise all the way around each olive and twist the halves apart, or
place the flat side of a broad-bladed knife on the olive and whack it sharply with the
heel of your other hand to break open the olive.
PER 12-OUNCE SERVING: 207 CALORIES, 4 G PROTEIN, 8.9 G FAT, 286 G CARBOHYDRATES. 1.2 G SATURATED FATTY ACIDS, 0 MG CHOLESTEROL, 785 MG SODIUM, 5.4 G TOTAL DIETARY FIBER