Provencal Vegetable Stew
- 2 baby eggplants or 1 very small eggplant
- 1 large zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 1 large yellow summer squash, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 1 15- to 19-ounce can cannellini (white kidney) beans or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary or thyme, crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon snipped basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium tomato juice
- 1 tablespoon white or regular balsamic vinegar
- 4 1/2-inch slices baguette-style French bread
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons finely shredded Parmesan cheese
- Peel eggplant.
- Cut eggplant into 3/4-inch pieces (you should have 3 cups).
- In a slow cooker, combine all ingredients except vinegar, bread, oil and cheese.
- Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.
- Stir in basil (if using), and balsamic vinegar.
- For croutons, preheat oven to 400 F.
- Lightly brush bread slices with olive oil.
- Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the cheese.
- Place bread slices on baking sheet.
- Bake for 6 to 8 minutes.
- Top each serving with croutons and sprinkle with remaining cheese.