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Pistou: Mediterranean Vegetable Soup with Basil Sauce

Updated February 23, 2016
(1 Votes)

0 Comments

Serves8

CostInexpensive

Moderate

Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationmain course

Equipmentfood processor

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Meallunch

Taste and Textureherby, light, savory

Type of Dishhot soup

Ingredients

  • 2 cups basil leaves, packed
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¾ cup dried cannellini (white kidney) beans or 1 cup canned cannellini beans, drained
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped, or 1 (16-ounce) can Italian-style plum tomatoes
  • 2½ quarts chicken or vegetable stock, homemade or low-sodium canned
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced thin on the bias
  • 2 medium leeks, trimmed, washed, cut into 2-inch julienne, and rewashed
  • ¼ pound string beans, trimmed and cut into 1½-inch lengths
  • 2 small zucchini, cut into small cubes
  • ½ cup vermicelli, broken into small pieces
  • 1 cup tender celery leaves (from the inner ribs), chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon saffron threads

Instructions

Prepare the basil sauce: In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse the basil, Parmesan cheese, walnuts, tomato paste, and garlic until puréed. Add the 5 tablespoons of olive oil and pulse until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Place in a container, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use. (If you float a ¼-inch layer of olive oil over the basil sauce and keep it covered and refrigerated, it will keep for up to 2 weeks.)

Wash and pick over the dried beans and drain. In a medium saucepan of boiling water, cook the beans for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and allow the beans to cool in their liquid. Return the cooled beans to the heat, bring to a boil, then simmer for 1 hour or until tender. (If using canned beans, carefully rinse twice in cold water, and drain.)

In a large nonreactive soup kettle, heat the ¼ cup of olive oil over medium heat. Add the tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes, or until they release their juice.

Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Add the carrots and leeks and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the string beans and the cannellini beans and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the zucchini, vermicelli, celery leaves, and saffron and simmer for 5 minutes until the pasta is tender. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the basil sauce and taste for seasoning.

Ladle the soup into warm soup plates and serve with the remaining basil sauce on the side.

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This soup is delicious and is perfect on a Winter day. Instead of adding the Basil Sauce to the pot, I added a dollop to each bowl as a garnish along with cracked pepper. I also omitted the tomatoes (except for the tomato paste in the Basil Sauce) only to due to personal dietary restrictions. Served with warm cheesy bread although I think this would go well with Crusty rolls or a slice of Asiago cheese bread (from Panera Bread) for dipping. My family enjoyed this meal. Thanks for sharing!

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