Soup au Pistou

7 Jun

Soup au Pistou is a classic southern French soup and is perfect for kitchen gardeners. It is at its best in the summer months when there is an abundance of french beans, basil, tomatoes and courgettes which are the most common ingredients found in this soup. Once you have the soup base, you can use any vegetables you have available. Pistou is a French condiment, like the Italian pesto but without the pinenuts, used to flavour this soup of barely cooked vegetables in broth.

Serves 6 Prep 20 mins plus soaking and cooking beans overnight Cook 25-30 mins

Soup base;
2 onions, peeled and minced
1 tbsp leek & celery verdurette or 1 small leek and 1 stalk celery chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
200g cooked white beans
2-3 litres of water or vegetable stock
Seasonal veg such as ; french beans, snapped into 2cm lengths
young courgettes, diced, squash, peas
Pistou
Large bunch basil
olive oil
garlic
parmesan cheese (optional)

Sweat the onions in a little olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the carrots and tomatoes and continue to sweat. When soft add the potatoes and white beans, season with salt and pepper and add the water/stock. Cook covered for 20-30 minutes or until the potatoes and carrots have softened. Add the fresh seasonal vegetables and cook for a further 5-10 minutes depending on how crunchy you like the vegetables. Process the pistou ingredients into a thick paste. Serve the soup with a dollop of pistou stirred into each bowl and the remaining paste on the table, so that dinners can add more if they wish.

This recipe was originally posted on www.masdudiable.com on 7/6/2007.

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