Wash and scrub all the vegetables.
Remove the parsley and basil leaves from their stems.
Dice the green bell pepper, eggplant and onion.
Quarter the zucchini lengthwise and then slice into 1/4-in. (1/2 cm) segments.
Quarter the mushrooms.
Chop the parsley and the basil.
Roast eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers first in a little oil. Keep aside.
Make a scramble with the eggs. Keep aside.
Start cooking by heating olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
Add the minced garlic and saute until the garlic smell intensifies for about one minute.
Add the diced onion and continue to saute until they turn translucent for about 4 more minutes.
Once the onions are translucent, add 1 tbsp of tomato paste.
:- The tomato paste will be in a clump and will take a bit of stirring and pressing to get it to spread out and cover the onions and garlic.
:- As you work at spreading the paste out and mixing it with the onions and garlic, the paste will cook and darken in color. Once some of the paste starts to stick to the pan and brown, it`s time to add the stock (about one minute).
Pour in 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock and stir until the broth begins to simmer.
Using your spatula or utensil, scrub the bottom of the pan to release any browned bits of garlic, onion, or tomato paste.
Add the roasted eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, and mushrooms.
Stir to combine thoroughly and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring every couple minutes to promote even heating.
:- The eggplant will release a lot of liquid (slowly) into the pot and it`s in this liquid that you`ll want to simmer the other ingredients in. To evenly cook all the ingredients, you`ll have to stir it to make sure the vegetables spend time touching eggplant liquid. As a bonus, the flavors mix amazingly well during this process.
:- The eggplant will mostly be falling apart at this point, but the zucchini, bell peppers, and mushrooms should be tender but not yet mushy.
Add the diced tomatoes and stir in. After about a minute, the tomatoes will have heated through. Turn the heat down to the lowest setting.
Stir in the chopped parsley and basil.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Gourmet Ratatouille ready to be served with fresh toasted baguette !