Edit ModuleShow Tags

FreshTartSteph Recipe: Soupe au Pistou


Published:

Photo by Stephanie Meyer

A bounty of garden-fresh vegetables and loads of end-of-season basil means it’s time for soup au pistou, one of my favorite summer treats. The first time I made it, I was a bit confused by the simplicity of the ingredients: vegetables cooked in water, that’s it? I underestimated the transformative power of pistou, the French cousin of Italian pesto, very similar except without nuts (and in my version, without cheese either). In fact, the star of the soup is the pistou, pungent and a little sweet, melting into lightly cooked summer vegetables.

Some recipes call for pasta, some call for white beans, some call for both. I like to keep it pared down to the basics, truly just vegetables, water, herbs, olive oil, salt, and water. The long-cooked, complex flavors of stews and winter soups will be upon us soon enough – in these last days of summer, I’m still happy to keep things light and fresh.

Soupe au Pistou

Serves 4

Note: Dicing the vegetables into similarly-sized pieces ensures even cooking…and a prettier result. Substitute vegetables for what you have on hand or what looks good at the market. Consider green beans (a classic ingredient), peas or other freshly shelled legumes, turnips, radishes, asparagus, artichoke hearts, parsnips, mushrooms, etc. If you’re not avoiding dairy, freshly grated cheese, either mixed into the pistou or sprinkled on top of the soup, would be lovely. If you prefer a richer soup, you can cook the vegetables in a homemade meat or vegetable broth (a boxed or canned version wouldn’t work here).

For the soupe:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup leeks, white and pale green part, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 cup red onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup kohlrabi, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup patty-pan squash (or zucchini), cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup thinly sliced Savoy cabbage
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
Water
Sea salt

For the pistou:
1 fat clove garlic (or 2 small cloves), peeled and chopped
1 packed cup basil leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt

Make the soupe:
Set a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil and when hot, add the leeks and onion with a pinch of salt. Saute, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add carrots and kohlrabi and another pinch of salt and continue sauteeing until carrots and kohlrabi are softening, 10 minutes. Adjust heat so vegetables are cooking and softening but not browning. Add squash, cabbage and thyme and saute another 5 minutes.

Add enough water to not quite cover vegetables and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer soupe, uncovered, until vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt to taste.

Make the pistou:
While the soupe simmers, make the pistou. In the bowl of a mortar and pestle (or food processor), puree the garlic, then add the basil leaves and puree. Slowly add the olive oil until mixture is a paste. Season with salt to taste.

Divide soupe among four bowls. Swirl in dollops of pistou and serve immediately.
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Pryes Brewery Opens Taproom to Test Beer in Warm, Wooden Space

Elegant yet easygoing, Pryes’ new taproom lets visitors experience exclusive beers and locally made food in an inviting environment.

Vietnamese Marinated and Caramel Glazed Back Ribs Recipe

Bring the sweet and tangy taste of Asian cooking to your backyard grill

Bourbon, French fries, Pride, and Fried Chicken

Three must-eat dishes for this week
Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

TC Taste answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the TC Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Recent TC Taste Posts

Pryes Brewery Opens Taproom to Test Beer in Warm, Wooden Space

Elegant yet easygoing, Pryes’ new taproom lets visitors experience exclusive beers and locally made food in an inviting environment.

Vietnamese Marinated and Caramel Glazed Back Ribs Recipe

Bring the sweet and tangy taste of Asian cooking to your backyard grill

Bourbon, French fries, Pride, and Fried Chicken

Three must-eat dishes for this week

Maybe the city's most underrated restaurant, Heyday tries to figure out tipping

A 15-percent service fee supposedly takes care of tipping—but does it go to the server?

French fries, chocolate chip cookies, and a new twist on the iced latte

Three Twin Cities treats from the Lynhall, Sandcastle, and Meritage

Celebrating Father's Day

This Father's Day, let's treat our dads to some special treats
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Linguine in Creamy Basil-Avocado Sauce with Seared Scallops Recipe

The creamy richness of avocados makes for a perfect pasta sauce in this homemade restaurant-quality meal

Bites that guarantee that old summer feeling

Ice cream, coffee, and brandy—just because they make us happy

Angel Food Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

Driscoll's Angel Food Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

Napa and Kale Salad with Creamy Cashew Dressing and Sriracha Cashews Recipe

Whether you want to fit back into last summer’s shorts or are looking for a healthy salad idea, toss up this easy recipe that mixes in filling nuts with antioxidant-rich kale and a kick of spice

The Near-Death Experience of the Owner of Jake O'Connor's and McKinney Roe

From trouble golfing in Ireland to emergency heart surgery, Dermot Cowley is alive and recovering—but plans for a new restaurant are now on hold

Meet the Joy Makers

Meet the Joy Makers
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Rum and Molasses Marinated Beef Kebabs with Grilled Cantaloupe Recipe

Get fired up for a taste of the tropics in sizzling grilled kebabs

4 Restaurants, Nearly $850,000 in Park Board Money

How much do Sea Salt, Sandcastle, Tin Fish, and Bread & Pickle make for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board?

Consider the Humble Raspberry

Consider the Humble Raspberry
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags