Pistou Soup

Pistou Soup

Serves 4 to 6

2 quarts boiling water
8 oz pumpkin, squash, marrow or sweet potato (peeled, seeded, and cubed)
6 ½ oz fresh coco beans
1 fresh “tied-up” bouquet garni (built with thyme, parsley, bay leaf, and celery)
2 sliced onions
2 sliced carrots
2 sliced medium zucchini
2 tomatoes, peeled, blanched, and cubed
6 ½ oz “quartered” small potatoes
6 ½ oz green beans (preferred is haricot verts or runner beans) cut to 4-inch pieces
A handful of broken vermicelli, spaghetti or short macaroni
Serve with some fine bread such as, a crusty sour dough baguette

The Pistou:

2 oz fresh “grated” parmesan reggiano or pecorino cheese
1 teaspoon coarse salt
6 “chopped” garlic cloves
1 oz “grated” tomme de chevre (i.e., hard goat cheese)
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
A handful of “torn” fresh basil leaves with the basil buds
Fresh ground pepper

Boil the water and pour it into a large soup pan. Add the bouquet garni, coco beans, pumpkin, onions, carrots, and potatoes; bring back to a boil. Then, reduce the heat and bring to simmer (cover and cook for 20 minutes).

Add the pasta, tomatoes, green beans, and zucchini. Continue cooking for about 10 minutes or until the pasta and vegetables are soft.

During this cooking process, the pistou must be prepared. With a mortar and pestle ready, place pepper, garlic, salt, and basil for a pounding to a paste. Once pounded, add a splash of olive oil and some cheese (pound more until the paste becomes stiff). Add the remaining olive oil and cheese and continue pounding. The goal is to have a final paste that is rich and thick.

It is now time to clean the pestle and place it back in the sauce (in the mortar) and on the serving table. Fill the serving soup bowls and leave the pistou on the side for guests to stir in if they wish.

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