Monday, May 4, 2015

Provencal Vegetable Soup

I loved the sound of this soup.  Once I made it,  I loved the taste.  Carrots, leeks, celery,green beans, cannellini beans, zucchini, and a tomato are simmered together in vegetable broth. Add some pasta and garlic.   The soup is seasoned with salt and pepper.   When you serve the soup,  drop in a hearty tablespoon of homemade pistou.

Pistou is similar to Basil Pesto but without the nuts.  It really added flavor and body to the soup.  This soup is hearty but not heavy.  It has a nice light flavor to it. Do not be fooled, it is satisfying and makes a nice lunch or light dinner.

Provencal Vegetable Soup
From Cook's Illustrated Magazine


3/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 leek, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced 1/2 inch thick, and washed thoroughly
1 celery rib, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 carrot, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
Salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups vegetable broth
3 cups water
1/2 cup orecchiette or other short pasta
8 ounces haricots verts or green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch lengths
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini or navy beans
1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 large tomato, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces

1. For the Pistou: Process all ingredients in food processor until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, about 15 seconds. (Pistou can be refrigerated for up to 4 hours.)
2. For the soup: Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering.  Add leek, celery, carrot, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until vegetables are softened, 8 to 10 minutes.  Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in broth and water and bring to simmer.
3. Stir in pasta and simmer until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in haricots verts or green beans and simmer until bright green but still crunchy, 3 to 5 minutes.  Stir in cannellini beans and their liquid, zucchini, and tomato and simmer until pasta and vegetables are tender, about 3 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve, topping individual portions with generous tablespoon pistou.

Serves 6


  1. It looks delicious, also very healthy, Geraldine.

  2. What a lovely, clean soup. Looks gorgeous, Geraldine.