1.Empty the crushed tomatoes into a large saucepan.
2.Fill the empty can with water and add the water to the saucepan.
3.Add the green beans.
4.Cut the green pepper, onion, zucchini, and summer squash into chunks or slices of your size preference.
5.Add all of the vegetables to the saucepan, adding water if necessary to ensure the vegetables are covered.
6.Peel the potatoes and cut them into small to medium size chunks, then add them to the saucepan.
7.If using real meat, brown in a skillet and add to the large saucepan.
If using faux meat, add that directly to the saucepan.
8.Cook on low heat until the vegetables have softened – at least a couple of hours (the longer and slower you cook the stew, the better it will taste!).
9.Make sure to monitor the liquid level and add more water as needed.
10.Season with salt, pepper, and basil if desired.
Note: If the stew is too thin, add tomato paste as needed to thicken.
Can be served with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese (yum!).