In a stockpot, heat the olive oil. Saute the garlic, yellow squash, eggplant, zucchini, celery, bell peppers, fennel, carrots, onion, and tomato until glossy. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar, to taste. Stir in the flour and continue to cook until golden in color. Stir in the tomato paste, stock, potatoes, and bouquet garni. Bring mixture to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are al dente.
Add clams, cover, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until clams open. Uncover and remove bouquet garni. Add the garbanzo beans and Saffron Pasta Shells. Divide onto 4 soup plates and drizzle with Pistou Sauce and extra virgin olive oil. Garnish with 3 slices of grilled baguette. Serve immediately.
Saffron pasta shells:
Bring water, salt and saffron to a boil. Add dry pasta shells and cook until al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water. Lightly dress with olive oil. Refrigerate until needed.
Yield: 2 cups
In a blender, combine olive oil, garlic, and salt. Process until garlic is minced, then while motor is running, add the basil leaves. Continue to process until pureed. Refrigerate until needed.