Delicious and healthy foods are often not the same in our modern world, but let me tell about one of my favorite dishes that is exactly that – delicious and healthy, similar to the Chicken Stew with Tomatoes, Basil and Onions, another Georgian dish I posted about some time ago. It’s loaded with vitamins and is low sugar, low carb, paleo friendly, gluten free, and so on and so forth. It’s a miracle dish.
It’s my adaptation of the Georgian dish that goes by a simple name of Beef Tenderloin with Eggplants. The name is somewhat misleading as there is a whole slew of other vegetables and herbs in this dish, such as tomatoes, sweet peppers, onions, parsley, coriander and other.
Originally, this dish has less liquid and is served as the main dish with a side, or simply as thick soup. My adaptation has a little more liquid and is intended to be served as soup. I really think it’s the best that way. The broth has this delightful sweetness from red peppers and onions, complimented by slight acidity from the tomatoes – you just can’t stop eating it. It’s amazingly delicious for such a low calorie and healthy soup.
In this soup beef tenderloin is sliced into 1/2 inch slices and is layered with other vegetables and greens. Preparation and layering takes a tiny bit of effort but is so worth it. Set up this way, the meat and each of the vegetables will cook as intended and flavors will properly distribute throughout the dish.
In the original recipe a cup of plain water is added to prevent the bottom layer from sticking to the pot, but I find that two cups of good quality beef broth makes this dish much, much better. You can make your own broth, or use a good quality store-bought one. When I am short on time I use McCormick brand beef broth that uses all natural ingredients, has only 30 calories per cube and tastes very good.
Cooking should be done over very low heat with the lid on. You want a very gentle simmer going. The dish is done after about an hour or so, once vegetables are tender. If you like a little bit of crunch in your veggies you may want to reduce the cooking time. It’s all a matter of personal taste.
Healthy Eggplant and Tomato Soup with Beef Tenderloin
- 1000 g beef tenderloin
- 2 medium size eggplants
- 3 medium onions
- 3 Carmen peppers sweet red elongated peppers
- 5 garlic cloves
- 6 medium size tomatoes
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 cup fresh coriander
- 1 cup fresh parsley
- 1 cup fresh dill
Remove silver skin from tenderloin, slice into about 1/2 inch pieces
Peel eggplants, slice into 1/2 inch pieces, sprinkle some salt on top and set aside for 20 minutes to allow them to release water. Gently dry each slice with paper towel and set aside
Rinse fresh coriander, parsley and dill. Chop finely and set aside
Blanche tomatoes in boiling water, remove skin, cut in half and set aside
Slice onions into 1/4 inch rings and set aside
Slice red sweet peppers into 1/2 inch rings, remove seeds and membrane and set aside
Press garlic cloves, add 2 teaspoons of salt and mix. Set aside
Prepare 2 cups of beef broth, set aside
Now assemble the ingredients in layers. Place 1/3 of beef tenderloin on the bottom of the cast iron pot or dutch oven, or a regular boiling pot. Then place 1/3 of eggplants on top, followed by 1/3 of the garlic and salt mix, followed by 1/3 of onion rings, then 1/3 of chopped coriander, parsley and dill, followed by 1/3 teaspoon ground black pepper. Repeat these layers two more times
Next, layer all sliced sweet peppers, then tomato halves. Pour 1 cup of beef broth
Cover with a lid, bring to gentle simmer and cook for about an hour, or until vegetables are fully cooked and tender