Soupe au pistou is a notable French vegetable stew from Provence that originates from Genoa, Italy. There is controversy on how to make this soup, as some French cooks use water and others use stock, or salt pork to flavor the soup.
I discovered soupe au pistou at an Italian restaurant in Nice, France back in 2015 when I lived in Germany. Nice is one of my favorite cities in the world. Steeped with history and culture, although a French city, Nice has roots from the Italian, Roman and Greek culture.
The French and Italians know how to cook. They know how to enjoy life over a simple meal with good friends and great conversation. Soupe au pistou was the best soup I ever had.
It's a vegetable soup that is further flavored with basil pesto, also known as pistou. Along with the leek, onion and garlic, the soup is a stew hinted with a touch of Italian flavor. Europeans live off the land. Their ancestral roots used intelligence and creativity to concoct recipes that come from local sourcing. And through the years of sophistication, chefs, cooks and locals enhanced their flavoring with the birth and availability of spices, herbs and such.
What I've discovered through my years of cooking, is that it is difficult to recreate authentic recipes. This is true in baking where the flour is processed and the quality of wheat differs in Europe than America.
Vegan Soupe Au Pistou
Cook Time: 30 minutes
4 cups vegetable broth
1 can white beans, rinsed
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 cups celery, chopped
2 cups carrot, chopped
1 cup leek, chopped
2 golden potatoes, chopped (1 cup)
1 cup green beans, chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 bay leaf
salt to taste
1 cup basil
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
pinch of salt
In a stock pot, cook the carrots, celery and onion in olive oil for 3-5 minutes. Add the leeks, cook for two minutes and add the remaining vegetables. Cook for 3 minutes. Add everything except for the white beans. Simmer the soup until fragrant or potatoes are edible. Once edible, add the white beans and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from heat once done.
While cooking, make the pistou ingredients. Blend the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Once the soup is done, ladle the soup into a bowl and then add and mix in the pistou, as much as needed.
Enjoy our other soup recipes! Save all recipes to your Yummly recipe box!
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com