As the title suggests, this stew can be made with whatever summer vegetables you have on hand–green beans, corn kernels, greens, etc. can substitute or be added to the mix. This is not a long-simmering stew; the vegetables retain their individual flavors. To keep the vegetables from being overcooked, try to make this as close to serving time as possible (though it’s still good with long-cooked vegetables!).

1 T olive oil
2 c coarsely chopped (sweet) onion
1 green or red pepper, cored and seeded, cut into thin slices
2 c broth or water
4 zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 c chopped tomatoes
4 – 6 cloves garlic, minced
1 t fresh thyme leaves, or 1/2  dried thyme
1/2 c coarsely chopped fresh herb–basil, cilantro, parsley…
salt and pepper, to taste

1-1/2 c broth (or water)
1-1/2 c couscous
1/4 c finely chopped fresh parsley, or other herb
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
(freshly) grated Parmesan or Romano cheese…

1. For stew: Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and green or red pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Stir in the broth. Increase heat some and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and add zucchini, tomatoes, garlic, and thyme. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes. Stir in the 1/2 c chopped herb, season to taste with salt and pepper.

2. For the couscous: Bring the 1-1/2 c broth or water to the boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the couscous, cover the pan and remove it from the heat. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes until the liquid is completely absorbed, or until the stew is almost ready. Or, follow package instructions or your own method for couscous.

3. Just before serving, fluff the couscous with a fork. Stir in the 1/4 c chopped parsley or other herb and the 1 T olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Spread some couscous in the bottom of soup bowls. Top with the stew. Sprinkle with cheese.