Now that we’ve moved back across the pond, I’m in search of a replacement for my Chicago community garden. I miss picking-my-own from my pint sized bed. In the meantime, with an abundance of fresh, locally grown English produce, I picked up some peas – in their crunchy, edible shells – for this great French summer soup.
Soupe Au Pistou hails from the Provençal region of the South of France, and would not include fresh shell-on green peas, and use green beans instead. But so much about enjoying cooking is being able to select the freshest and most local ingredients.
From Julia Child to Jamie Oliver, variations of this soup abound. Some recipes call for potato, others for tomato. It is a soup of summer vegetables, bolstered by white beans and macaroni and finished off with pistou – a paste made with fresh basil, garlic, tomato, olive oil and parmesan cheese.
In order to make all of our recipes accessible globally to the home cook, we have introduced metric weights and measures. Moving forward, as our Slow Cooker Spice Blend and Meal Kit Solutions business continues to grow, we will bring you relevant recipes for the slow cooker at slightly longer intervals. Each month will begin with an inspiration to set the monthly tone, and follow it with by bi-weekly recipes. We look forward to you continuing your slow cooking journey with us.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups / 200g / 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 cup / 100g / 1 medium leek, diced
- 1 cup / 140g / 1 medium carrot, diced
- 2 tsp / 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 x 14.5oz can white beans, drained
- 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup / 100g small macaroni
- 6 cups / 48 fl oz / 1.4L vegetable broth
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups / 200g / 2 medium zucchini, diced
- 1 1/2 cups / 185g / fresh green peas, shell on OR green beans, diced
- 1/2 tsp / 1 large clove of garlic, minced
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups / 70g gently packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup / 2fl oz / 60ml olive oil
- 1 small tomato; peeled, seeded, and diced
- 1/3 cup / 40g Parmesan cheese, grated
- heat the olive oil in a skillet over a medium heat and add the onion, leek, carrot and garlic and soften for 3 minutes
- stir in the white beans, tomatoes, macaroni, vegetable broth, thyme, bay, salt and pepper
- cover and cook on high 3 1/2 hours, LOW for 8
- remove the lid and stir in the chopped zucchini and peas / beans
- leave for 3-5 minutes while you prepare the pistou ingredients
- in a small blender or a pestle and mortar, grind the garlic, salt, basil, olive oil, tomato and parmesan
- serve the soup in bowls and top with a large spoonful of pistou
“French glamour has roots in the country’s southern region, where centuries-old hilltop villages cling like barnacles to bluffs and scenic highways serpentine the shoreline.”