Soup au Pistou

May 19, 2010

Author Notes: This is a great soup to make on your local Farmer's Market day. If you can, bring the kids with you to meet the farmers who grow your local veggies, and let them choose some of the bounty that will find its way into the soup. There are no hard and fast rules as to what to include, and in fact, every time I make it, I end up with a distinctly different soup in the end. As long as you buy the freshest veggies you can get your hands on, and work to include a variety of color and texture in your choices, you'll have a beautiful, fresh and satisfying soup in the end. If you use a store bought chicken stock, make sure it is a low sodium brand, and if you have the time, allow an hour at the start to infuse it with some aromatics to add a little more interest and depth to your soup.Oui, Chef

Serves: 4-6


  • 16 ounce can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 large carrot, cut into 1/4 inch dice
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 1/4 pound green beans, cut into 1 inch lengths
  • 10 leaves of swiss chard or kale, sliced into 1/2" thick ribbons
  • 1/2 cup of freshly shelled peas
  • 2 cups of tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 2 ears of corn, kernels cut from the cob
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
  • aromatics - 1 stem fresh rosemary, 3 stems fresh thyme, 1 teaspoon peppercorns, 1 teaspoon anise seeds
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh basil pesto per serving
In This Recipe


  1. Place chicken stock and water in a sauce pan over low-medium heat. Add the aromatics tied in a cheese cloth bundle, and simmer for 1 hour. Remove the bundle and reserve the stock.
  2. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy bottomed soup pot over low-medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and saute 15 minutes to soften.
  3. Raise the heat to medium, and add the green beans, zucchini, cannellini beans, tomatoes, and chicken stock to the pan, and cook 10 minutes. You want the soup at a simmer, not a rolling boil.
  4. Add the corn, peas, and swiss chard and cook for another 5 minutes. Check seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Ladle into warm bowls and top with a spoonful of fresh pesto.
  6. You can also make a crouton by taking a slice of baguette, topping it with some gruyere cheese, and toasting it under the broiler. Spoon some pesto onto the crouton and float it on top of your soup. Oh, la, la.

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