Basic ingredients come together here to make a classic French soup. I love to freeze pistou/pesto in small jars, and pull out a preserved bit of summer to liven up dishes year round. This soup is highly adaptable to whatever you have on hand: swap the cannellini beans for another kind, add or subtract some vegetables, and put the various surprises from your CSA farm box to use. But if you have to skip the pesto/pistou, then just call it vegetable soup. —ForkBetter
In a soup pot, saute the onion in olive oil over medium heat while you dice the remaining vegetables. Once onion is softened, add diced carrot, celery, and potato, the garlic, and 1/2 tsp salt. Stir together and cook for 5-10 minutes, until softened, but avoid browning.
Add the tomatoes and bean/vegetable broth. Simmer until the carrots and potatoes are tender and the tomatoes have melted into the broth, about 15 minutes.
Add the zucchini, beans and greens. Simmer together gently until the greens are wilted and the beans are warm, about 5-10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve each bowl with a generous spoonful of pesto/pistou and a topping of grated Parmesan, if desired.
Combine basil, nuts, garlic, salt and pepper in blender. With motor running, drizzle in olive oil to desired consistency (for the Soupe au Pistou, it should be on the thicker side). Stir in Parmesan, if using (if not, taste and adjust salt).
Store pesto/pistou in small jars. Use the back of a spoon to even out the top into a nice smooth layer, and cover with a thin layer of olive oil to keep the pesto below from browning. Eat within one week or freeze for later.
Though French pistou skips the pine nuts, I'm more than happy to have this versatile sauce around both as a traditional pesto and the perfect topping to make this soup special.