Soup au Pistou

I'd encourage you to substitute vegetables based on whatever is in season.   Gluten-free readers can simply leave out the pasta, or use a GF pasta.

Soup au Pistou

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Serves: 6 Total Time: 1 hour and 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound / 16 oz dried flageolet or great northern beans, soaked for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, then drained
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 medium leeks, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 16-ounce can, whole tomatoes, well drained, chopped
  • 2 medium yellow potatoes, chopped
  • 1 bouillon cube, optional
  • 1/8 pound / 2 oz. stellette (tiny star) pasta, or other small pasta
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chard stems, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • For the Pistou:
  • 1/2 tablespoon crushed garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 2 cups basil leaves, torn into small pieces
  • 1 tomato (from above), well chopped
  • 1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated aged Gruyere cheese

Instructions

1

In your largest soup pot heat the oil, then add the onions, leeks, and celery. Saute for about 5 minutes, then stir in the soaked beans and 6 cups water. Bring to a boil, dial back to a simmer, then cook for about 15 minutes.

2

Reserve one of the tomatoes for the pistou, then stir the remaining tomatoes into the pot, then the potatoes. Cook for another 15-20 minutes, or until the beans seem like they are nearly cooked.

3

Add a bouillon cube if you like, then the pasta, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and the chard stems and cook for another 3 minutes. Stir in salt - perhaps less if you used a salty bouillon - essentially, you want to salt to taste. At this point the pasta should be cooked through, as well as all the beans and vegetables.

4

For the soup to taste good, you really need to get the right amount of salt in it - just be mindful of this, and adjust if needed.

5

While the soup is cooking, you can make the pistou. I use a mortar and pestle, but you can use a food processor if you like. Pound the garlic with the salt into a paste. Add the basil a handful at a time and pound and grind until nearly smooth. Add the tomatoes, then gradually stir in the olive oil a bit at a time. Stir in the cheese.

6

Ladle soup into bowls and top with a generous dollop of pistou.

 

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