I was a little unsure about serving this for dinner last night. A stew? During the summer? When it was in the mid-80s inside my house? (Buying a house with no central air is something I will NEVER do again!!)
But with all the colorful vegetables inside the stew, and the herb-y pesto served on top of the stew, this really did taste like summer. I served it with some olive bread on the side, which (despite the fact that I recently posted an easy recipe for it) I bought. Because although we still need to eat, when the weather’s like that I just want to cook as little as possible.
For the stew:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cup chopped red or yellow bell pepper
2 cups green beans cut into 2-inch pieces
1 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water
4 cups chopped yellow summer squash
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 (15 ounce) cans red or white beans, undrained
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the almond-herb pesto:
1 cup toasted almonds
1 cup packed fresh basil
2 cups packed fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 to 3 tablespoon water, optional
Make the stew:
In a large soup pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and bell peppers, and cook for about 3 minutes. And the green beans and broth (or water) and simmer until crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Add the yellow squash, tomatoes, and beans. Return to a simmer and cook until all of the vegetables are tender.
Make the Pesto:
Combine the almonds, basil, parsley, garlic, olive oil, salt, and lemon juice in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until smooth. Add water if you would like a thinner consistency.
Serve the stew topped with a dollop of the pesto.
6 to 8 servings