Edit ModuleShow Tags

FreshTartSteph Recipe: Soupe au Pistou


Published:

Photo by Stephanie Meyer

A bounty of garden-fresh vegetables and loads of end-of-season basil means it’s time for soup au pistou, one of my favorite summer treats. The first time I made it, I was a bit confused by the simplicity of the ingredients: vegetables cooked in water, that’s it? I underestimated the transformative power of pistou, the French cousin of Italian pesto, very similar except without nuts (and in my version, without cheese either). In fact, the star of the soup is the pistou, pungent and a little sweet, melting into lightly cooked summer vegetables.

Some recipes call for pasta, some call for white beans, some call for both. I like to keep it pared down to the basics, truly just vegetables, water, herbs, olive oil, salt, and water. The long-cooked, complex flavors of stews and winter soups will be upon us soon enough – in these last days of summer, I’m still happy to keep things light and fresh.

Soupe au Pistou

Serves 4

Note: Dicing the vegetables into similarly-sized pieces ensures even cooking…and a prettier result. Substitute vegetables for what you have on hand or what looks good at the market. Consider green beans (a classic ingredient), peas or other freshly shelled legumes, turnips, radishes, asparagus, artichoke hearts, parsnips, mushrooms, etc. If you’re not avoiding dairy, freshly grated cheese, either mixed into the pistou or sprinkled on top of the soup, would be lovely. If you prefer a richer soup, you can cook the vegetables in a homemade meat or vegetable broth (a boxed or canned version wouldn’t work here).

For the soupe:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup leeks, white and pale green part, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 cup red onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup kohlrabi, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup patty-pan squash (or zucchini), cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup thinly sliced Savoy cabbage
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
Water
Sea salt

For the pistou:
1 fat clove garlic (or 2 small cloves), peeled and chopped
1 packed cup basil leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt

Make the soupe:
Set a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil and when hot, add the leeks and onion with a pinch of salt. Saute, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add carrots and kohlrabi and another pinch of salt and continue sauteeing until carrots and kohlrabi are softening, 10 minutes. Adjust heat so vegetables are cooking and softening but not browning. Add squash, cabbage and thyme and saute another 5 minutes.

Add enough water to not quite cover vegetables and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer soupe, uncovered, until vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt to taste.

Make the pistou:
While the soupe simmers, make the pistou. In the bowl of a mortar and pestle (or food processor), puree the garlic, then add the basil leaves and puree. Slowly add the olive oil until mixture is a paste. Season with salt to taste.

Divide soupe among four bowls. Swirl in dollops of pistou and serve immediately.
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Taste Blog

Pepito’s to Become El Burrito Minneapolis

The Pepito’s/Parkway Theater combo is sold to local entrepreneurs who have a restaurant tenant and theater remodeling plans.

James Beard Semifinalists Are Cheaper by the Dozen

Ten chefs and two restaurants were named to the 2018 James Beard Award semifinalist list

Banana Pudding Pie Recipe

Make some new sweet memories with a retro dessert

Bonterra Vineyards and the Future of Organic Farming

Learn how Bonterra Organic Vineyards set the standard for organic winemaking, then sample Bonterra at this year's Food & Wine Experience March 3-4, 2018

10 Best Friday Fish Fries for Lent

Christian or not, get your fried fish here around the Twin Cities

3 Things to Eat This Week: Valentine's Edition

If you forgot to make reservations for Valentine's Day week, you're not too late—these, ahem, romantic spots will still have you

Kimchi and Gruyère Pizza Recipe

Step up your pizza game with outside-the-box homemade pie

Great Breakfast with Great Coffee

Stellar food, top-tier coffee—at these Twin Cities restaurants

Banish the #BoldNorth Hangover

Recover from the Super Bowl with fries, delicious guacamole, and a special dinner with Jason & Joy
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags