For this blog I present a Mediterranean summer classic: Soupe au Pistou. Ideally it is made with fresh summer vegetables, enriched with the pistou (a French version of pesto) and served with rough country bread. It is, need I say, absolutely fantastic!
I like to use a mixture of fresh beans (green, runner, French or snake beans will do equally well, or a mixture) plus, I confess, frozen broad beans. Other good things you might add include peas (fresh or frozen), diced courgette, or red peppers; it is really up to you, but if you follow my recipe you are guaranteed a superb result, and it will fill your kitchen with the perfumes of Provence!
And unusually for one of my soup recipes, it uses plain water instead of vegetable stock.
for the soup
100g waxy potatoes
100g beans (see above)
50g broad beans
1 slice stale white bread
1 pinch saffron
100g tinned or bottled white haricot beans
salt and pepper to taste
for the pistou
2 garlic cloves
3 tbsp good tomato puree
20g fresh basil
15g Parmesan cheese
75ml extra virgin olive oil
- Chop the carrot, potato and leek into approximately 2cm dice.
- Boil the above in the water for 40 minutes. Correct the seasoning.
- Meanwhile, crumble the bread very small, and break the spaghetti into 2cm lengths.
- Make the pistou.
- Add the remaining soup ingredients and simmer for about 7 minutes.
- Chop the garlic and basil, and grate the Parmesan.
- Add the above to a food processor along with the tomato puree, and blitz up, slowly adding the olive oil until you have a smooth puree.
- Add a few ladles of soup to the pistou in the food processor, then pour the diluted pistou back into the soup and stir.
- Ladle into bowls.