Soupe Au Pistou

May 18, 2010
0 Ratings
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

I've made lots of vegetable soups but never "soupe au pistou". After looking over half a dozen recipes, I made my version for supper tonight. I made stock from Jennifer Perillo's "60-minute chicken stock" (food52). I used Ina Garten's recipe for pesto, halved and without the walnuts, found on pages 142-143 of "Barefoot Contessa Parties". The fresh herbs came from my garden, including the basil for my pesto, and I used organic produce. Not a big fan of licorice-tasting food or booze, I was pleasantly surprised by the flavor from the fennel in my soup base. Note: Sorry I can't type out the pesto recipe, but it would require a three part format. —Lizthechef

What You'll Need
  • Soup Base
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks with leaves, chopped
  • 1 head of fennel, cored and chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 4-6 sprigs of fresh lemon thyme (any fresh thyme)
  • 1 handful of flat-leaved parsley
  • 8 cups homemade chicken stock
  • kosher salt and ground pepper to taste
  • "Soupe"
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon thyme leaves
  • 1 14.5 oz can of chopped tomatoes, drained
  • 1 15 oz. can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 cup piccolini "little wheels" or other mini pasta (uncooked)
  • 1 cup frozen green beans, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • kosher salt and ground pepper
  • 6 tablespoons homemade basil pesto
  1. Soup Base
  2. Tie the thyme and parsley into a bouquet garni and set aside. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add the onion, celery, fennel, carrot, tomato and garlic. Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring a few times.
  3. Add the bouquet garni and the stock. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and cook for 15 minutes. Remove bouquet garni and strain stock, reserving broth and the vegetables.
  4. Puree reserved vegetables in processor. Stir into broth to finish the soup base. Correct seasoning.
  1. "Soupe"
  2. Using the same large pot, heat the oil and saute the onion, garlic, carrot celery and thyme for 5 minutes. Correct seasoning. Add the soup base, tomatoes, beans, saffron and pasta. Lower heat and cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the green beans and allow them to "cook" for 5 minutes before serving.
  3. Top each serving of "soupe" with a generous spoonful of pesto.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • ChefJune
  • mrslarkin
  • Lizthechef
  • testkitchenette

7 Reviews

ChefJune January 28, 2013
I love Soupe au Pistou and make it often, but have never before seen pasta as an ingredient. Interesting.
JWB May 25, 2010
Incredibly good soup. The pureed broth base and saffron make it stand out from all of the other minestrone recipes I've tried. Thank you!
Lizthechef May 25, 2010
Thank you so much - I liked the soup base portion of the recipe, and the saffron makes the flavors "pop", I think. Glad you enjoyed it!
mrslarkin May 19, 2010
BEAUTIFUL! Wish I had a bowl of this right now.
Lizthechef May 18, 2010
If anyone can teach me how to underline when filing a recipe, I would appreciate it - as in book titles. Another tutorial is defintely in order.
testkitchenette May 18, 2010
The colors are beautiful!
Lizthechef May 18, 2010
Thank you - your soup is awfully pretty...