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Soupe Au Pistou 2
From: Kumquat

A Provençal classic. Made this for dinner tonight. I just love fresh basil leaves and spring is the best season to get them! Note that the pistou is very garlicky, so tone it down a bit if you or anyone in your family is not a big garlic fan. Based on an article in the food section of the NY Times by Mark Bittman (the Minimalist). Pistou is pesto en français. I changed this around a bit to make lower fat and a bit easier.

SERVES 6

Soup

  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopeed
  • 2 celery ribs, trimmed and chopped
  • 6-7 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup cranberry beans or lima beans or garbanzo beans (canned or frozen)
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 small zucchini, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup pasta, broken into pieces (small like ditalini, capellini)

Pesto

  • 6-8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, washed
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tomato, peeled or 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Put onion, carrots, celery and potatoes in a large saucepan with broth to cover by at least 2 inches. Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, adding a little more water if necessary.

When vegetables are just about tender, add beans, zucchini and tomatoes and simmer for another 20 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, combine garlic, basil, olive oil and tomato or tomato paste in a blender or food processor and process until pasty. Season with salt and pepper.

About 10 minutes before the vegetables are done, add pasta to soup and cook until tender but not mushy; season again. Serve soup and pass pistou and parmesan at the table.