Another season has come to an end, so long Summer! With the cooler weather of Fall slowly creeping in, I’ve had many soup ideas simmering in my head, waiting for me to test them. This past week, I was also feeling a bit under the weather so I had more time than usual to dream about a fall full of soups. But while a bit of Summer still lingers in the air, I’ve decided to blend the best of summer and fall together.Soupe au Pistou is a French soup which is typically create in the late summer; It’s meant for those chilly nights to give you a touch of warmth by using the freshness of summer vegetables. Sounds ideal, right? I would say yes. This soup is full of vegetables that will soon go out of season. This recipe I got from Mimi Thorisson’s book, A Kitchen in France. If you have yet to catch a glimpse of her book, I recommend you pick it up soon. The pictures, which are gorgeous, and the recipes make my inner Francophile giddy. Last year, I made this soup for my family and our neighbors in order to celebrate the end of summer in typical Mimi-style; outdoor dinner party in the garden with great food and good company. By making this quintessential French soup, you can easily add more vegetables into your diet. It can also be modified for the fall weather. If you’d like to add some sturdier root vegetables, feel free to do so. Let this recipe bid farewell to Summer as you walk into Fall with a happy belly!
Soupe au Pistou
- 1 can white beans, cannelini or navy
- 1 can kidney beans
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2in pieces
- 4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, diced
- 3 zucchini, diced
- 3 yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 leek, thinly sliced
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 cups water
- A few sprigs of Thyme
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 cup elbow macaroni
- 2 bunches fresh basil, removed from stem and chopped
- 5 garlic cloves
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 2/3 cup grated parmesan
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 ripe tomato, peeled, seeded, diced
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the green beans, tomatoes, zucchini, onions, carrots, leek, and garlic. Sauté for 4-5 minutes. Add the water and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
Add the pasta and cook until al dente, 8-10 minutes.
Make the Pistou: In a mortar and pestle, combine the basil and garlic and pound until it becomes a paste. Slowly add in the olive oil, parmesan, salt and pepper. Once combined, pound in the tomato. Set aside until ready to serve.
Add the cooked beans to the soup and season with salt and pepper. Let the soup simmer for 20-30 minutes, until all vegetables are soft.
To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top with the Pistou.
This soup can be stored for 2-3 days in the fridge.