2 large eggplants, (2 pounds), peeled in strips and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
4 to 5 medium zucchini, (2 pounds), cut into 1-inch cubes
Coarse salt and ground pepper
3 yellow or red bell peppers, ribs and seeds removed, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
Step 1 In a Dutch oven (or other heavy 5-quart pot with a tight-fitting lid), heat oil over medium heat. Cook onions, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in eggplant and zucchini; season generously with salt and pepper.
Step 2 Add 3/4 cup water; cover, and simmer until vegetables are beginning to soften, stirring once, about 5 minutes. Stir in bell peppers; simmer, covered, until softened, 5 minutes.
Step 3 Stir in tomatoes and thyme; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Partially cover; simmer, stirring often, until vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat. If serving immediately, stir in basil. (If freezing, leave out basil.)