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Soup au Pistou Recipe


Soup au Pistou Recipe

Rustic Soup au Pistou

©Stefania Pomponi Butler

Soupe au pistou is a remarkably versatile soup from Provence. Use whatever fresh vegetables you have on hand. This recipe utilizes ingredients easily found in most kitchens. The single requirement in an otherwise adaptable list of vegetables, herbs and pasta is that the finished soup must be garnished with pistou, or pesto.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped white onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped or crushed
  • 1/4 cup chopped leeks
  • 3/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (1/4 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup cooked white beans
  • 1/2 cup cooked red beans (kidney or red)
  • 3/4 cup cut green beans
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked, small pasta (shells, bow ties, elbows, etc.)
  • Pistou:
  • 4 ounces fresh basil
  • 6 small cloves garlic, each cut into quarters
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper


In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté the onion, celery, and garlic in the butter and oil for 5 minutes, until the vegetables start to soften. Add the leeks, thyme, salt, and pepper to the pan and sauté for an additional 2 minutes.

Pour the chicken stock into the saucepan with the sautéed vegetables and add the carrots, tomatoes, and all the beans. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook it, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Stir the cooked pasta into the soup and remove it from the heat.

To make the pistou:

Blend the basil, garlic, cheese, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a food processor until it forms a smooth paste. Alternately, pound the ingredients using a mortar and pestle.

Ladle the hot soup into serving bowls and drizzle a small amount of pistou on each serving.

This soupe au pistou recipe makes 8 to 10 servings.

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