This is a classic vegetarian Provençal soup made from late summer vegetables. Pistou is from the latin pestour
, meaning 'to crush.' A small food processor or large molcajete
(or a great chef knife) is recommended for the final seasoning. (credit to combinations of recipes by Antoine Bouterin, Susan Hermann Loomis and Patricia Wells)
I made a fabulous hearty soup tonight that needed little more than sourdough grilled in foil and a fine salad.
The cook time isn't great. Caution is advised to maybe make half the following quantity if you don't have large camp cookwear. My5.5 Qt Cuisinart 755-26GD
wasn't quite big enough for the full recipe. Might be pretty good for half. Make as close to the full quantity as you can manage -- the leftovers will be in high demand!
1 cup Great Northern beans (dry) -- research fresh pod beans if you have a fabulous farmers' market; reduce cooking time accordingly.
2 Tablespoons best oil available.
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 medium turnips, 1/2" dice
2 large carrots, 1/2" dice
4 cloves minced garlic
6 cups stock + extra water -- vegetable, MSG-free chicken, or homemade veal -- your choice
6 sprigs fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried
1 pound green beans, cleaned & 1/2" dice
2 medium zucchini, 1/2" dice
2 large leeks, tender parts; quartered & 1/2" dice
4 medium potatoes, 1/2" dice
1 cup broken thin spaghetti
Salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
4 large tomatoes, 1/2" dice
1/2 cup pine nuts
6 cloves garlic
2 T olive oil
1/2 to 1 cup (pressed) basil -- more the better
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1. Dried beans -- select beans. Soak with boiling water for 1 hour and then drain (longer if dried beans are not fresh; shorter if actually have fresh hulled beans).
2. In large pot over medium-high heat, heat oil until hot but not smoking. Add onion and sauté, stirring until golden -- 5 minutes. Add carrots & turnips & 4 cloves minced garlic; saute 2 minutes. Add water/broth, thyme, beans from step 1, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook 10 minutes. Add zucchini, green beans, leeks, and potatoes; simmer 30 minutes. As dried beans are nearing done, add spaghetti last 10 minutes. Season with salt & pepper.
3. While that is simmering, process pine nuts, garlic, olive oil & basil. Turn off fire under soup and add tomatoes & pine nut-garlic-basil mixture. Serve with a smile! Any beverage you like.
Serve with hot rustic bread & fresh salad. Sprinkle with fresh grated parmesan if you like. Mmmm....