Pistou soup supergolden bakes

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Pistou soup

There's an argument that has been quietly simmering for the better part of 15 years in my house. My husband avows that 'soup is NOT food'. I completely disagree.

What he means, of course, is that soup by itself is not substantial enough to satisfy hunger. In some cases he may be right, but in the case of soupe au pistou he is completely wrong. This soup is very filling, healthy and absolutely delicious. My flatmate and I survived on it while we were in college.

You can vary the vegetables according to what you have available or what's in season (courgette, squash, peas all work well). Any vegetables that cook quickly need to be added a few minutes before you serve otherwise they will dissolve.

Serves 2

For the soup

2-3 shallots, finely diced
2 sticks celery, chopped
2 small carrots, chopped
1-2 potatoes, cut into small cubes
1 can cannellini beans
2 small tomatoes, chopped
Handful green beans, chopped
2 handfuls small pasta shapes (such as Ditalini)
480ml | 2 cups vegetable stock
2 tbsp honey
Juice of half a lemon
1 tsp tomato paste
1 tbsp chopped parsley
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

For the pistou
Large handful basil leaves
50g | 2 oz Parmesan cheese, grated {or Vegetarian Parmesan-style cheese}
1 clove garlic (or more, to taste)
3-4 tbsp virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot and then sauté the shallots, celery, carrots and potatoes for 5 minutes over medium-low heat. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Add the stock, beans, tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, honey and lemon juice and stir. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are soft and soup has thickened slightly. Add the pasta and chopped green beans (make sure there's sufficient liquid - if not, top up with hot water). Cook until the pasta is done. Add the chopped parsley.

To make the pistou, put all the ingredients in a small processor and blend. If it is too thick, add a little more olive oil. Serve the soup with some crusty bread with a generous amount of pistou drizzled on top.

Pistou, unsurprisingly is also great with pasta. 
I am submitting this to September's Cooking with herbs challenge over at Lavender and Lovage, Credit Crunch Munch which is hosted by Elisabeth this month and Four Seasons Food by Delicieux and Eat Your Veg.

Four Seasons Food
Four Seasons Food hosted by Delicieux and Eat Your Veg


  1. Ooh, I'm with you and regularly serve soup as a meal in the winter. This soup looks utterly luscious and will be on my to make list for sure:-) Thank you for entering Credit Crunch Munch:-)

  2. Never heard of Pistou soup before, looks delicious.

  3. this looks really good. May I suggest you have a recipe heading at the top of the page & a facility to print out your lovely recipes easier than what I can do now. I see the recipes & want to try them as I love to try something different - for a change.