Soupe au Pistou

Level:
Easy
Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup dry white beans (navy or Great Northern), washed
  • Pesto:
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, leaves only
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) freshly grated Gruyere or Parmesan cheese
  • 2 small red potatoes, with skins
  • 1 large carrot, peeled
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 small zucchini, with skin
  • 1 small yellow crookneck squash, with skin
  • 1 stalk of celery, peeled
  • 1 large tomato, peeled, and seeded
  • 1/4 pound green beans
  • 8 cups chicken stock or canned broth
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Directions

Place beans in a small saucepan and cover with a generous amount of water. Bring to a boil and cook, covered, until beans are tender, about 1 hour. Drain and reserve. (To test a bean for doneness, choose a small one. Smaller beans take longer to cook because of their dense centers. The bean should taste creamy, rather than powdery, inside.)

Make Pesto by pureeing garlic, olive oil, and a few basil leaves in a blender. Gradually add remaining leaves until all are pureed. Transfer to a small bowl, add grated cheese, and stir. Set aside.Cut each vegetable into even 1/2inch dice and set aside. To avoid discoloration, reserve potatoes in a bowl of cold water.

Bring chicken stock to a boil in a large stockpot. Add white beans, potatoes, carrot, and onion. Return to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, 15 minutes. Add remaining vegetables and bring back to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook an additional 10 minutes, uncovered. Season to taste. Serve soup with a dollop of pesto in each bowl.


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