17 August, 2011

French & Country. Provencal Style Vegetable Soup with Pistou

Provencal Style Vegetable Soup with Pistou

If you are planning to visit French & Country at Hopewood Country House this w/end you can enjoy this  soup while sitting amongst the beautiful  pieces that have recently arrived from France. 
However, if you can't make it to this event, follow recipe below, open a bottle of wine, pull up a chair by the fire, and inhale the luscious fragrance from your French Vegetable Soup. It’s time to relax, as they know so well how to do in France, and be nourished by the goodness of this simple dish.
This gorgeous  soup is a real French Country Soup, since it uses so many seasonal garden vegetables. Pistou is the French version of pesto. The colourful vegetable-rich soup and the flavour of the savoury pistou are made for each other.
Provencal Vegetable Soup

1/2 cup dried white beans (If time is of the essence you could substitute with tinned white beans)
2 Tbs of olive oil
1 medium sized leek, white and pale green part only, sliced
2 carrots diced
2 sticks of celery diced
2 courgettes diced
1/4 of a small pumpkin diced
4 tomatoes peeled, seeded and chopped, or 1 tin of tomatoes
4 cups of good quality vegetable stock
3 cups of water
3 sprigs of thyme
200 g french beans trimmed,and cut diagonally into 1 inch pieces
1 good size bunch of swiss chard or spinach leaves coursely chopped.
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 recipe pistou ( see recipe below)
1/2 cup of finely grated parmesan cheese

1. Soak the dried beans in enough water to cover for 3 hours, or overnight. Drain beans and place them in a medium saucepan with enough water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 40 minutes, until slightly tender. Drain and set beans aside.
2. Warm olive oil in a large soup pan over medium-low heat and add leek, carrots, celery, and courgette and pumpkin. Cook, stirring once in awhile, for about 20 minutes, until vegetables are soft, then add tomatoes, stock, water, and cooked beans. Continue cooking, uncovered, for 30 minutes, then add green beans and simmer 15 more minutes. Add Swiss chard and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Serve soup  in individual bowls with a teaspoon of pistou and a grating of parmesan cheese on top of each serving. Serve immediately.
Serves 6-8.
2 bunches of basil
1/2 cup of virgin olive oil
1/3 cup of pine nuts
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and sliced

1. Remove basil leaves from stems. Place leaves in food processor with garlic, pine nuts and half the oil, then pulse to process. Add remaining oil in a stream with the motor running and continue to process until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
Pistou can be frozen.
Bon Apetete!


  1. Oh how I wished I lived close enough to visit this wonderful event. It looks like my kind of place. Thanks you for sharing the recipe, this looks delicious! hugs ~lynne~

  2. Mama Mia, så dejligt & inbjudande, jag tror att jag hoppar över min frukost och går direkt till Din soppa!

    Thanx a lot for nice nice comments on my Wabi & Sabi blog = me like like like!



  3. La soupe au pistou ,un grand moment...