Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Soupe Au Pistou

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is, of course, Julia Child's classic version of the simple, but fragrant Provencal vegetable soup. The soup is a summer favorite in the Mediterranean. It's then that herbs and sundry beans come to market and hawkers push their bounty shouting, "Mesdames, faites le bon piste, faites le pistou!" I'm not much for summer soup, so it's fortunate that the vegetables used to make this span the seasons. What sets this soup apart from others of its ilk, is the freshness of its vegetables and the use of pistou, a sauce made with garlic, basil, tomato and cheese. This is one the first recipes I made as I worked my way through the first volume of Julia's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. It is foolproof, and the only thing that can be done to spoil it, is to overcook the vegetables thrown into the pot. If you love peasant food, this soup is one you'll find hard to resist. You'll never forget its unique aroma, and its color, taste and texture will allow your imagination to run wild. With any luck, you'll find yourself sitting at a scrubbed, worn table in a farmhouse kitchen enjoying the bounty of your French host's garden. The fantasy would be perfect if Julia were also there to entertain. Here's her recipe, in case you missed it first time around.

Soupe Au Pistou...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, courtesy of Julia Child


3 quarts water
2 cups diced waxy potatoes
2 cups diced carrots
2 cups diced onion or white of leek
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups canned white navy or kidney beans, drained
1/3 cup broken spaghetti
1 slice stale white bread, crumbled
2 cups fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Optional : pinch of saffron
4 cloves crushed garlic
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 to 1/2 cup fruity olive oil

1) To make soup: Bring water, potatoes, carrots and onions or leeks, and salt to a boil in a 6-quart soup pot. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. About 20 minutes before serving add white beans, broken spaghetti, bread, pepper and saffron to the soup and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the green beans and simmer 5 to 10 minutes more, until they are cooked through but still crunchy. Again adjust salt and pepper to taste.
2 ) To make pistou: While the soup is simmering, place the garlic, tomato puree or paste, basil and cheese in a soup tureen or another pot. Pound to a paste with a wooden spoon, then beat in olive oil, drop by drop.
3) To finish and serve: Whisk a cup of hot soup into tureen containing pistou. When smooth add rest of soup and stir well to combine. Serve hot with French bread or croutons. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

You might also like these recipes:
Root Vegetable Soup with Honey and Sage - The English Kitchen
Quick Tortilla Chicken and Vegetable Soup - 101 Cooking for Two
Vegetable Bean Soup - The Bake-Off Flunkie
Vegetable Beef Soup - Never Enough Thyme
Healthy Tomato and Vegetable Soup - Taste
Late Summer Vegetable Soup with Basil Pesto - Food Blogga
Roasted Vegetable Soup - In Danny's Kitchen
Minestrone for All Seasons - Italian Food Forever
Vegetable Soup - Niya's Kitchen


Ginny Hartzler said...

Soup is perhaps my favorite food, and this looks divine!! I make a vegetable beef soup that I sprinkle parmesan on top.

Eileen said...

This sounds and looks delicious.

kitchen flavours said...

This certainly looks like a hearty bowl of soup. Rich flavours and looks absolutely delicious! Hope you are having a good time now! Tried any curries yet? ^..^

Angie's Recipes said...

Mary, I love this heartwarming and delicious soup! Just exactly what I need now!

Karen from Globetrotter Diaries said...

Yumm... even though this is a summer favorite I think I'd enjoy this now! thanks for the recipe!

Unknown said...

This looks really, really yummy. definitely on my to-do list.

Priya Suresh said...

I love pistou soup, wat a cathcy, filling and hearty soup..

Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes

Cherine said...

This soup looks wonderful. I love the flavors!

Linda Starr said...

Oh, this looks like a quick and delicious soup, will have to try it.

Nammi said...

yumm thats a comforting dish.

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

this is comfort soup !

Becky said...

Mary, when I saw the photo my first thought was "That looks like my grandmother's vegetable soup." And then when I read the recipe, I realized it pretty much is my grandmother's vegetable soup. It's interesting to me to see one of Julia's recipes and realize we have a family recipe that is similar. Really makes me feel connected to my French heritage.

I hope you are having a fabulous time.

From the Kitchen said...

It's certainly soup weather here. I'm pulling out some of the corn soup (from your earlier recipe) for a quick supper. I hope you are dining upon rogan josh or the like.


Kim said...

I love pistou soup but this version of Julia Child, I never made it, and it looks delicious!

Sushma Mallya said...

It looks so filling and yum

penny aka jeroxie said...

Looks so comforting... hearty for your colder weather now

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

What a lovely sounding soup! Soup is always on the menu Fall through Spring! I often make it and freeze it. This soup would be perfect for this time of year. I just need to get some good green beans.
My husband, the soup king, will thank you!!!
I am so impressed that you cooked your way through Mastering The Art Of French Cooking!!!! Bon Appetit!

Unknown said...

A friend of mine made this same recipe last year...she unfortunately over cooked the veggies. The flavor was good, but the texture was...well it was mushy! I'm going to have to try this and see if I can do a better job at it then she did! Thanks for sharing :)
Hope your trip is going well!

Penny said...

Timely post. I have been craving soup and anything Julia has to be good. Don't know how I missed making this before. Thanks for the nudge.

Rita said...

Hopew you are enjoying wherever you are right now Mary. Sending a you a wave.
You're right that is a good soup; one of our favourites.

Claudia said...

I love this soup! And you are right - do not overcook the vegetables!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

The perfect time of year for this comforting soup!!

Faith said...

Wonderful soup, Mary! The pistou is a lovely way to add a burst of flavor at the end!

Susi's Kochen und Backen said...

A big bowl of this soup along with some crusty bread and I'm set! It looks and sounds wonderful :o)

CaSaundraLeigh said...

I bet this smells absolutely heavenly when it's simmering on the stove. And it would pair great with crusty bread! Mm..now I am craving soup!

Melynda@Scratch Made Food! said...

This looks delicious! We have Soup Saturdays here, that way dinner is easy and usually from the freezer, and we are free to get other things accomplished or just have fun. This will be great on Saturday. Thanks.

StephenC said...

Peter will often stir in some pesto (basil, parsley, or kale) into a soup. I guess a pesto is not so much different from pistou? Also, for soup pasta, we try to keep some small elbows in the pantry.

Juliana said...

Mary, the soup looks wonderful...SO tasty and perfect for the weather that we are experiencing here...very comforting.

♥ Kathy said...

It's getting to be the time of year that I crave soups..I will definitely add this one to my list!

Barbara said...

In could close my eyes and imagine I'm at Julia's table. :)
What a lovely soup. Can't imagine why I've never made it. So comforting. Wonderful, Mary!

Jhonny walker said...

It is ultra perfect!!! and given that weather outside promises to clammy and horrible for some days...this is giving me some hope!

Ana Powell said...

The Winter is settling pretty fast. Great soup proposal ♥

Alessandra said...

Wow Mary, you manage to post even when traveling!

I often add pesto to y soups, it is great!

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

What a lovely soup!

scrambledhenfruit said...

I love soup any time of year- this one is a classic. :)

Monet said...

So simple, yet so full of flavor. After this long week, I need to curl up with a bowl of soup and a big chunk of bread. Julia never fails! Thank you for never failing too!

pigpigscorner said...

I've always wanted to try Julia Child's recipe after watching the movie. This looks so comforting!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

So you actually use spagetti in this? That's interesting. Sounds good. Looks good. I love soup!


Sheila :-)

My Little Space said...

It's hot over in India. So, you don't need this soup over there! haha... I don't mind bottom up for you.

Anonymous said...

I have been making Julia's soupe ah pistou for years. I just served it to friends, yesterday. Glad the same recipe is online. They all begged me to send it! Do add chopped parsley on the top of the pot before you serve it.

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