Soupe au Pistou

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.

Serves 3.
for the soup
100g carrots
100g waxy potatoes
100g leek
1.25l water
100g beans (see above)
50g broad beans
1 slice stale white bread
15g spaghetti
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


  1. Chop the carrot, potato and leek into approximately 2cm dice.
  2. Boil the above in the water for 40 minutes. Correct the seasoning.
  3. Meanwhile, crumble the bread very small, and break the spaghetti into 2cm lengths.
  4. Make the pistou.
  5. Add the remaining soup ingredients and simmer for about 7 minutes.


  1. Chop the garlic and basil, and grate the Parmesan.
  2. 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.

To Serve:

  1. Add a few ladles of soup to the pistou in the food processor, then pour the diluted pistou back into the soup and stir.
  2. Ladle into bowls.
© DAVEggie

Mushroom Fajitas

This is another quick and economical recipe which tastes stunning, and authentically Mexican. You could also add fresh chilli if you wish, but the Chipotle will make it quite hot. You could also add chopped fresh coriander, either at cooking time or to serve, but I think this is unnecessary.

I think the fajitas are lifted by copious quantities of lime juice so they have a real acid kick! This combines brilliantly with the smokiness of the paprika and Chipotle.

Serves 2
1 red pepper
1 medium red onion
1 garlic clove
250g mixed mushrooms: chestnut, oyster & shiitake for example
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp Chipotle powder
2 tbsp olive oil
2 limes


  1. De-seed the pepper. Slice the pepper and onion thinly. Chop the garlic finely.
  2. Cut the mushrooms into 1cm slices.
  3. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl, squeeze over the juice of 1 lime and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes (less if you are in a hurry.)
  5. Fry the ingredients over a medium high heat for about 10 minutes until the mushrooms are nicely browned.

To serve:
2 large tortillas
grated strong cheese such as Gouda, Cheddar or Red Leicester
Crème Fraîche
lime juice

  1. Warm the tortillas in a microwave for about 30 seconds.
  2. Divide the mushroom mixture between the two tortillas.
  3. Add cheese Crème Fraîche and lime juice to taste.
© DAVEggie