Summer Vegetable Stew (with Beef - or not)

Had a bounty of veggies from the farmer's market and created this dish - a delicious blend of flavors. This dish can be prepared with our without meat. Substitute quinoa, beans or lentils for a vegetarian/vegan dish

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (500 g) ground beef (preferably pastured) - optional. Substitute prepared quinoa, beans or lentils if desired.
  • 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 3 medium summer squash (zucchini, yellow etc.), diced
  • 1 medium eggplant, diced
  • 1 lb (500 g) green beans, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 26 - 28oz (750 g) chopped tomatoes (I use a Pomi tetrapak)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (or more, to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (or more, to taste)
  • tomato paste to thicken, optional
  • chopped parsley to garnish, optional

Preparation

In a large pot, heat olive oil and add onion and beef, if using. Saute until the onion is soft and the meat (if including) has starting to brown. Add squash, eggplant and green beans and saute for a few minutes. Add tomatoes and spices (and beans or lentils, if using), cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes, until vegetables are tender. I add tomato paste to thicken and give more tomato flavor. Adjust seasoning as desired. Garnish and serve.