Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Moussaka Soup

This isn't your ordinary vegetable soup, it's oh so much more!  Folks, I believe we do have a winner with this Hot Yoga Food creation.  This post had the fate of a "Dooser" tag when I managed to salvage this baby.  And, salvage I did.  

I set out to make a low-fat Moussaka (casserole), which is one of my favorite Greek recipes.  What makes it low-fat is that the lamb is substituted with lentils and the cream sauce is substituted with mashed potatoes.  The dish ended up tasting bland, and the eggplant was rubbery from the lack of sauce.  

Before I wasted a bad recipe, I gave my old standby rule a shot: When in doubt blend!  

I added more flavor to the casserole ingredients by throwing a few extra roasted bell peppers and one Serrano pepper in.  I also thinned it a bit with some extra chicken broth I had.  The result was a hearty, dense, rich and tangy soup that was kind to my belly after hot yoga on a cold winter night.  I felt great after eating this, especially since I was able to not waste any food.  I'm having leftovers tonight after yoga, and I just bet after letting the flavor set for a few days, this tasty concoction will be even better!

Moussaka Soup
5 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
6 cups water
2 t. salt 
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup plus 2 T. olive oil, divided
1 large onion, chopped
3 T. dried oregano
2 15 oz. cans chopped tomatoes
2/3 cup dry lentils
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
3 tomatoes, sliced
2 eggplants, sliced
5 zucchini, halved lengthwise
2 red bell peppers, de-seeded/sliced
2 yellow bell peppers, de-seeded/sliced
1 Serrano pepper, sliced
1 1/2 cups chicken or veggie broth
2 T. Curry powder
Salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes to taste

Dollop of plain Greek yogurt
Extra red pepper flakes

1.) Boil potatoes and garlic in salt water for 10 minutes until soft.  Important note: don't throw the salt water away!  You'll need 2 bowls for this process.  Before you drain the potatoes, prepare one bowl to place all of the salt water you used to cook the potatoes in. After you drain the potatoes, set aside the potatoes in the other different bowl along with 2 cups of the salt water.
2.)  Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F.  On a greased cookie sheet, add all bell pepper slices, eggplant slices and zucchini slices.  Spray or rub veggies in 1/2 cup cooking oil.  Sprinkle veggies with 2 T. curry powder.  Roast for 25-30 minutes until browning begins.  (flip over slices halfway through)
3.)  While the veggies are roasting, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion and oregano and saute for 5 minutes.  Then add add canned chopped tomatoes, sliced fresh tomatoes, dry lentils, bay leaf, cinnamon stick and the remainder of the salt water you set aside earlier.  Reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 45 minutes until lentils are tender.  Remove bay leaf and cinnamon stick.
4.) When the roasted veggies and cooked veggies are ready, throw them (juices and all) into your food processor together along with the loan Serrano pepper (these powerful peppers can hold their own) and the chicken broth.  Blend until smooth.  
5.)  Put blended soup back into a big pot and heat on low until warm.

Garnish with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a shake of red pepper flakes.  Enjoy!

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