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Monday, September 14, 2009

Soupe au Pistou

I first got this recipe from Sunset magazine. I've changed things in it, and actually made it completely wrong this past week. I had forgotten that it used white beans, so used pintos instead, left out the tomatoes, then somehow put in way too much liquid, so we served it with torn up bread in it, then made a second meal of it with cooked rice. I also started by sauteeing the vegetables in olive oil, then adding the water. Jerome really, really loved it so we have renamed that version Jerome's favorite soup. This is the soup as I originally made it, you choose how you would like to try it, or make both! This makes a lot of soup, so you can freeze half or save it for a second meal in the week.

NOTES: Soup can be made up to 2 days ahead. Reheat, covered, over high heat. Transport in a thermos or a tightly covered container in an insulated chest. Carry pistou in a separate covered jar.

MAKES: 12 to 14 servings

1 pound peeled and seeded winter squash, cubed
2 carrots, scrubbed and diced
2 thin skinned potatoes, scrubbed and diced or peeled if you are using a thick skinned variety
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound zucchini, ends trimmed and diced
1 red bell pepper rinsed, stemmed, and seeded
1 pound diced tomatoes and juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves or 1 teaspoon dried basil
2 - 2 1/2 quarts water or chicken broth (start with the smaller amount and add more if you wish)
7 cups cooked white beans (about 5 cans, rinsed and drained)
Salt and pepper
Pistou (recipe follows)

In an 8- to 10-quart pan over high heat, bring broth to a boil. Add winter squash, carrots, potato, celery, onion, and garlic to boiling broth. Cover, return to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.

Add zucchini, bell pepper, tomatoes, basil and beans to broth. Cover and return to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until all vegetables are tender when pierced, about 20 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Stir 1/4 cup pistou into soup, then ladle soup into bowls or mugs. Add more pistou to taste.


NOTES: If making pistou up to 1 day ahead, cover and chill. Serve cool or at room temperature. Top may darken as pistou stands; just stir to blend.

MAKES: 1 cup

5 cloves garlic, peeled
2 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
2/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

In a food processor or blender, puree garlic, basil, and oil. Add cheese and whirl until blended, scraping container sides often. Pour into a bowl.

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I've never made Soupe au Pistou before, but have often thought is sounded so good. However, yesterday as I was making my meal plan and almost put this on my list! I didn't, but now you are making me rethink that. :)
It is really good. The pistou really adds something. I hope you tried it. :-)
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