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Vegetable Soup Provencal Style picture

Vegetable Soup Provencal Style

Vegetable soup makes a hearty and delicious meal. Here we add a dollop of French-style pesto, called pistou, to really brighten the soup's flavor. Pesto and pistou differ in only one way: there are no pine nuts in the French version.

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  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, rinsed and thinly sliced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups canned or boxed (Pomi) chopped tomatoes
  • 4 ounces green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 cup cooked or canned white cannellini (navy) beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup dried orzo pasta
  • For the pistou:
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher sea salt
  • 2 cups fresh basil, stems removed
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Serves 4 to 6 as a main

  1. In a large stockpot heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the leeks and carrots and sauté until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and potatoes and cook for 2 minutes more, then add the water. Stir in the tomatoes.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, make the pistou. Place the garlic, salt and basil into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. With the machine running, gradually add the olive oil and process until well combined.  Add the Parmesan and process a few seconds more.  If the mixture seems to thick, add a little more olive oil.  Pistou may be kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 week; place plastic wrap directly on the surface to maintain the bright green color.
  6. Once the potatoes are tender, add the green beans, zucchini, cooked beans and pasta to the soup. Continue to simmer the soup until these vegetables are tender and the pasta is cooked, about 10 minutes more. Taste the soup and add salt and pepper as desired.
  7. To serve, ladle the soup into serving bowls and top with a generous tablespoon of the pistou. Pass extra pistou at the table.

Thank you Susan!!!! Your work is inspiring and the food is always great!