Apart from the "pistou" itself — a pesto-like blend of garlic, basil, olive oil and hard cheese stirred in at the end — the only real requirement of an authentic southern French "soupe au pistou" is that it is made in the summer with seasonal vegetables. Naturally that is almost one restriction too many for me, for whom it seems that a thick, hot and nourishing broth of beans, vegetables, herbs and cheese should be just the thing to fill up and warm a person up on a cold winter day.
Served with buttered slices of French bread on the side, this delicious and aromatic soup is a wholesome and satisfying meal all by itself … which makes it a natural choice for my contribution to this month's No Croutons Required challenge of nourishing vegetable soups. I can tell you that it certainly did the trick for one very delighted guest who arrived with a very large appetite.
Here's a bonus tip: If you ever have a rind left over from grating Parmesan cheese, or any other hard aged cheese, never throw them away — they add a wonderful depth and base to savory bean or vegetable soups when added to the stock, and can be refrigerated or frozen for later use.
|Provençal Bean and Vegetable Soupe au Pistou|
|Recipe by Lisa Turner|
Published on January 11, 2009
A thick, hot and nourishing southern French broth with beans, vegetables, herbs and Parmesan cheese seasoned with a fresh homemade garlic and basil pistou