This recipe appears in:Serious Entertaining: Provençal Party
Soupe au Pistou is a traditional Provencal soup, but you'll find different versions across the region. Feel free to substitute vegetables (yellow squash for zucchini, etc) based on what's in season.
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 13 cloves garlic, divided
- 1 15.5 ounce can small white beans
- 1 15.5 ounce can kidney beans
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 3 large leeks, white and pale green parts chopped
- 2 1/2 cups chopped carrots
- 1 pound baby potatoes, quartered
- 2 large zucchini, chopped
- 1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into thirds
- 12 ounces tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 quarts water, vegetable, or chicken stock
- 1 cup orzo (or other small pasta)
- For Pistou:
- 2 small cloves garlic
- 2 cups basil
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- For serving:
- 2 cups grated gruyere cheese
Make bouquet garni: Wrap rosemary sprigs and bay leaves in cheese cloth and knot securely.
In a large heavy pot, combine olive oil, bouquet garni, and 2 cloves chopped garlic. Cook over medium high heat until garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add white beans, navy beans, onion, and leeks. Cook for two minutes. Add carrots and potatoes and 10 garlic cloves (quartered). Cook until vegetables are softened, 10 minutes.
Add zucchini, tomatoes, tomato paste, and green beans. Stir to combine. Add water. Cook at a simmer until vegetables are tender, 30 minutes. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 5 minutes.
Make Pistou: In a food processor, pulse basil and garlic. With motor running, add olive oil. Season with salt to taste.
To Serve: Serve soup hot with a dollop of pistou and grated cheese served alongside.