Soupe au Pistou
Pistou is a fragrant sauce of garlic, basil, and olive oil
that's related to Italian
pesto. Here, it is stirred into a Provençal soup
at the last minute. The heat of the soup releases the flavors of the garlic and basil without cooking them.
- 1 l/3 cup dried chickpeas, rinsed
- 1 ⅓ cup dried pinto beans, rinsed
- 1 15-oz. can chopped tomatoes
- 1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)
- 1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 3 medium red potatoes, cut into ½-inch chunks (1 cup)
- 2 carrots, sliced (1 cup)
- 1 cup frozen Italian flat beans
- ¼ cup vermicelli, optional
- 8 cups fresh basil leaves
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled
- ½ cup olive oil
1. To make Soup: Place chickpeas and pinto beans in large pot, and cover with water. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand 30 minutes. Drain beans, and rinse.
2. Return beans to pot; add tomatoes, onion, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, and 5 cups water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Season with pepper, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 30 minutes. Add potatoes and carrots, and simmer, covered, 30 minutes. Stir in flat beans, and cook 10 minutes, or until beans are tender. Stir in vermicelli, if desired. Cook 3 minutes more.
3. Meanwhile, make Pistou: Pulse basil and garlic in food processor until finely chopped. Add olive oil, and pulse until combined. Transfer to small bowl.
4. Spoon 2 Tbs. Pistou in bottom of each bowl. Spoon Soup over top.
November/December 2008 p.82