"The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found."--Calvin Trillin

Soupe au Pistou Recipe

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This recipe for Soupe au Pistou, by , is from The Penton Family Cookbook Project, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.

Anne Miskey


The Soup
3/4 cup Romano Beans - cooked or canned
4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 cup cooking onions, diced
1 pound tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 cups carrots, diced
1 1/2 cups potatoes, diced
1 cup leeks, whites only, finely chopped
1/2 cup celery leaves, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups fresh green beans, cut into 1" pieces
1 1/2 cups unpeeled zucchini, diced
1/2 cup broken pieces of spaghetti or spaghettini
2 pinches crumbled saffron threads

The Pistou
5 garlic cloves
1/2 cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1 Tbsp olive oil

Cook the beans (if using dry) - if using canned simply heat them up in 3 cups water - you need to use their cooking water in the recipe.

Heat 4 Tbsp. olive oil in a heavy soup pot or kettle. Toss in the diced onions and cook until limp and golden. Add the tomatoes and cook for 3 or 4 minutes longer. Pour in 8 cups of water and bring to a boil over a high heat. Add the carrots, potatoes, leeks, celery leaves, green beans, salt and a few grindings of pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.

Stir in the Romano beans, their cooking water, zucchini, spaghetti and saffron. Simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Check the seasonings.

Prepare the Pistou. Add garlic to a food processor - chop. Add the basil and process briefly. Then spoon in the tomato paste and the Parmesan and process. Add the olive oil and process until the pistou resembles a paste. Thin the pistou with 1/2 cup of soup stock.

Serve the soup with the pistou sauce on the side letting each person flavour their soup with a Tbsp or so of Pistou.

Number Of Servings:
Number Of Servings:
Preparation Time:
Preparation Time:
45 minutes
Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
This is one of my all time favourite soups! It's incredibly healthy and vegetarian but the Pistou gives it a wonderful flavour! I use whole grain or Kamut pasta which adds to the texture - but you may need to cook it a bit longer. This is a great lunch with a piece of crusty French bread!




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