Recipe courtesy of Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger

Soupe au Pistou

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 50 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 40 min
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1/3 cup dry white beans (navy or Great Northern), washed


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


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 1/2-inch 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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