Soupe au Pistou is a traditional French classic. Pistou is the Gallic version of Pesto and a rich ingredient adding considerable flavor.
Soupe au Pistou

Soupe au Pistou
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Soups and Stews
Cuisine: French
Serves: 6
  • 1/2 Cup dried small white beans; soaked overnight
  • 12 Cups chicken stock
  • 1 onion; cut in 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 leek (white part only); sliced 1/2-inch, rinsed well
  • 1 stalk celery; cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/2 large potato, peeled; cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 carrots; peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 Cup tomato, peeled, seeded; coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 Cup green beans; cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 2 small zucchini; cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/2 Cup elbow macaroni
  • 1 Cup grated Gruyere cheese; for garnish
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly minced garlic
  • 1/4 Cup olive oil
  • 1 Cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 Cup grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese
  1. Put white beans in a bowl and cover by 1 inch with cold water. Let soak overnight. Drain.
  2. In a large pot over medium heat, bring stock to a boil. Add white beans, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 35 minutes. Add onion, leek, celery, potato, and carrots.
  3. Simmer 20 minutes. Add tomato, green beans, zucchini, and macaroni, and simmer until all vegetables are tender (about 20 minutes more).
  4. Serve in warm bowls; garnish each serving with 2 teaspoons pistou.
  5. Pass extra pistou and Gruyere at the table.
  6. Pistou: Place all pistou ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  7. Makes about 1/2 cup.
If you prefer a speedier preparation, use canned beans that have been rinsed well before being added to the soup.

Stir a spoonful of pistou -- a puree of basil, garlic, and cheese -- into a thick vegetable soup to make one of the best-loved dishes of the Provencal kitchen. Note that the white beans need to soak overnight.


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