Vegetable Soup with Sweet Basil

The simple soup my mother makes from the vegetables she grows in her own garden next to the house where I grew up in St. Viet, Carinthia[, Austria, is very little different from the following traditional French recipe: just lots of good, fresh vegetables and some liquid to cook them in.]

Total Time:
1 hr 10 min
Prep:
25 min
Cook:
45 min

Yield:
: 6 servings
Level:
Easy

CATEGORIES
Ingredients
  • 2 small leeks, white part only
  • 1 large potato, peeled
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 12 green beans
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 gallon chicken stock (or 1/2 gallon water, 4 bouillon cubes, a pinch of thyme, and 1/2 bay leaf)
  • 6 ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded
  • 4 medium garlic cloves
  • 30 fresh basil leaves, washed and dried
  • Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Directions

Cut the leeks, potato, onion, celery, zucchini, green beans, and carrots into 1/4-inch dice.

In a 6-quart stockpot, combine 3 tablespoons of the olive oil with the water. Add the vegetables and saute over medium-low heat until all the water evaporates. Do not brown the vegetables.

Add the stock and bring to a boil. Cook at a gentle boil for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a food processor fitted with the metal blade, put the tomatoes, basil, garlic, and remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Pulse until pureed.

Stir the puree into the cooked soup. Do not let the soup return to a boil. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve the soup hot or cold from a tureen or in individual bowls.

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