Vegetable Soupe Au Pistou

Soupe au Pistou. Photo by Dominick Mastrangelo.

It’s getting to be late in the fall and that means that if you have a CSA or shop at the farmers market you are swimming in more vegetables than you know what to possibly do with. As the growing season draws to a close, the frosts come and we all get absorbed with our busy fall projects, time for cooking and lingering in the kitchen is getting shorter, just like the daylight. This simple soup is a great way to use vegetables and the last of that basil that might be in your window box garden. It packs a flavorful vegetable punch and is simple and easy to make.

Soupe au pistou resembles a minestrone in taste. It originated in the south of France where Italian and French influences collide and is usually enjoyed in the early summer. This soup should taste like a tribute to Marseille and the abundant markets around Provence. The trick to retaining the flavors of the vegetables is cooking the soup very lightly. You are just trying to soften them and make the flavors meld, not turn them into complete mush.

Photo by Dominick Mastrangelo

Soup au Pistou

For the soup:

3 carrots

3 stalks of celery

3 cloves garlic

2 tomatoes

1 large onion

1 yellow summer squash

1 green zucchini

1 red pepper

4 to 6 cups vegetable stock

Olive oil, salt, pepper

Note: If you want to make this more substantial (and more traditional) add a cup of cooked Navy or white beans.

For the Pistou:

1 head of basil

1 slice stale bread

2 cloves of garlic

Olive oil, salt

To make the soup: You want to have all of your ingredients ready to go before you start cooking. Finely chop the onions and garlic. Set aside. Dice the remaining vegetables. Put about 1 TBS into the soup pot and heat over medium-high heat. Saute the onions until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, stirring so it does not stick or burn. Add the vegetables and salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring several times so no vegetables stick or burn (add more olive oil if need be). Add the stock until the vegetables are just covered, stir and reduce the heat to medium-low to simmer. Simmer about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and tasting. Once the vegetables have softened, remove from the heat.

To make the pistou: Wash the basil and remove the leaves. Peel the garlic. Place garlic, bread and basil in the food processor, pour in about 2 TBS olive oil in and about 1 tsp of salt. Mix and taste. If the pistou is too dry, add more olive oil, but it need not be to liquid.

To serve: Serve the soup with the pistou on the side. Stir in the pistou before enjoying. Bon appetit!

About 2cooksinthekitchen

Two cooks, one from Bushwick and a passionate meat-eater, one from Sunset Park and a former vegan, and both NYC transplants, set out to share original recipes that can be made dairy free and vegan deserts; showcase culinary resources in the outer boroughs (and sometimes Manhattan) where one can find unique, specific and fairly priced ingredients; and participate wholeheartedly in the many cultures of cooking and eating that make up New York City.
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2 Responses to Vegetable Soupe Au Pistou

  1. A Tablespoon of Liz says:

    This looks so good… When the weather starts getting colder I get this crazy craving for soup!

    • Thanks! Totally! I just made vegetable stock in my crock pot the other day and I’ve been making a ton of squash soups. As soon as it’s frosty air, soup time! Let me know how it turns out if you make it!

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