This classic Mediterranean stew of eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers is always delicious–but just wait till you give my easy flavor-building technique a try! Roasting the veggies before combining them gives a rich, hearty texture and nutty caramelized flavor that everyone will love.
- 3 TB olive oil divided
- 7 cups eggplant 1 large, diced in small pieces
- 4 cups zucchini 2 medium, diced in small pieces
- 3 cups red pepper 2 large, diced in small pieces
- 2 tsp salt divided
- 2 cups onion 1 large, diced in small pieces
- 2 cloves garlic large, minced
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp fennel seed
- 1 tsp no-salt Italian seasoning
- 1 26 oz carton diced tomatoes
- 4 cups fat-free chicken broth
- 1/2 cup fresh basil chopped with additional for garnish
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese shaved
Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl toss eggplant with 1 TB olive oil and ¾ tsp salt, spread in an even layer across one sheet.
Add zucchini and peppers to bowl and toss with 1 TB olive oil and ¾ tsp salt. Spread across 2nd prepared sheet. Roast eggplant and zucchini mixture in the lower 1/3 of oven for 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring and rotating pans halfway through.
While vegetables roast, heat remaining 1 TB oil in a large soup pot over medium-low heat. Add onion and remaining ½ tsp salt and cook for 10 minutes or until extremely soft, stirring often.
Add garlic, hot pepper flakes, fennel seed, and Italian seasoning and cook an additional minute. Add tomatoes and broth to pot and bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes or until roasted vegetables are done.
Add roasted vegetables to broth mixture and cook for 5 minutes for flavors to meld. Stir in basil and serve garnished with chopped basil and shaved parmesan.