Recipe courtesy of Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger

Soupe au Pistou

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  • Level: Easy
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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


  1. 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.)
  2. 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.
  3. 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.