Food & dining

Recipe for soupe au pistou

Chronicle Books

Serves 6

Pistou, a French version of pesto, makes this dish, so don’t be tempted to skip it. Like all soups, it’s even better the next day.


1bunch fresh basil, stemmed
3cloves garlic
3tablespoons olive oil, or more if needed

1. In a mortar and pestle or
blender, work the basil, garlic, and oil together to make a smooth paste.


2. Add up to 1 more tablespoon
olive oil to thin the mixture to the consistency of pesto.

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3tablespoons olive oil
2onions, cut into ½-inch dice
4cloves garlic, crushed to a paste
Salt and pepper, to taste
1sprig fresh thyme
2bay leaves
¼cup tomato paste
2carrots, cut into ½-inch dice
2zucchini, cut into ½-inch dice
7ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into
1-inch pieces
1can (about 14 ounces) white beans, drained
2quarts boiling water
½cup dried small pasta
(orzo or ditalini)
cups frozen green peas
Pinch sugar

1. In a soup pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for
8 minutes. Add the thyme, bay leaves, tomato paste, carrots, and zucchini. Cook, stirring often, for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are almost tender.

2. Add the green beans, white beans, and water. Let the soup come to a boil, lower the heat, and add the pasta and peas. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often, or until the pasta is tender.

3. Remove the thyme and the bay leaves. Add the sugar and taste for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper, if you like. Ladle into bowls and serve with a spoonful of pistou.  Adapted from “The Little
Paris Kitchen”