Soupe au PistouYum
Soupe au pistou is a French vegetable soup similar to the Italian version of minestrone. This is a crowd-pleasing hearty vegetable soup loaded with summer vegetables like zucchini, yellow squash and tomatoes, potatoes, beans, herbs and a rich chicken stock. A heaping dollop of pesto (or pistou) is stirred in at the end.
Ah….Soupe au Pistou – where do I begin to tell you how much I love this soup. Soupe au Pistou is hands-down my family’s favorite soup. I make it often.
I originally published it in 2014, but wanted to give it an update with new photos and slight tweaks. I make this soup nowadays mostly vegetarian, but I’ve added a small amount of chicken here. Less though than was called for in my original recipe. I’ve omitted the noodles, making it gluten-free and I’ve switched out the beans from chickpeas to cannellini. This soup is my casual take on a classic French vegetable soup.
It’s impossible to have a hurried bowl of this Provencal Vegetable Soup ….. no…this is a soup to savor with plenty of crusty bread and healthy dollops of pistou. I love to crowd this soup with plenty of fresh vegetables from the farmers market. I’ll also add a little zucchini and yellow squash. Adding the pistou (with its ensemble of flavors) to this soup is what makes this soup gloriously scrumptious….and it’s what makes this soup… our favorite.
I hope you enjoy this hearty Soupe au Pistou as much as we do!
Soupe au Pistou
Yield: 6 servings
Total Time: 45 minutes
- 1 chicken breast (optional)
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup water
- 3 sprigs flat leaf parsley
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 3 tablespoons light olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, split, germ removed and minced
- 2 leeks, minced (white parts only)
- 1 cup carrots, chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 3 tablespoons white wine (or sherry)
- 6-8 baby red potatoes, quartered
- 3/4 cup green beans (haricots verts)
- 1 cup canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 Roma Tomatoes, seeded and cut into small cubes
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup olive oil
For the Soup
- Add the chicken and chicken broth , distilled water, parsley and thyme sprigs to a stock pot, and cook until the chicken starts to fall off the bone. Remove the chicken and sprigs from the broth and set aside to cool.
- After it has cooled, chop the chicken and discard the skin and bones and sprigs. Strain the broth to remove any fat.
- In a large pan, heat oil over medium heat. Saute the onion, leeks, garlic and celery until translucent (about 10 minutes). Add the wine and let simmer for a minute more.
- Add the chopped chicken, onion, leeks, garlic, carrots, celery, potatoes, haricots verts (green beans), and tomatoes to the broth. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables are just fork tender.
- Add the cannel ini beans and heat through for 3 - 5 minutes.
- Combine the basil, garlic, cheese in a food processor or blender and process.
- While the motor is running, and the olive oil in a slow, thin stream. Continue to process until the pistou until you reach your desired consistency.
- To keep the pistou from turning brown on top...place a tablespoon of olive oil on the top of the pistou then seal tightly.