Vegetable Soup with Sweet Basil
My father found this recipe by Wolfgang Puck, who says that he got this recipe from his mother. It’s really an excellent vegetable soup. Surprisingly tasty.
Note from Wolfgang Puck: His mother only uses water, because her vegetables are peak-of-the-season, just-picked, and therefore full of flavor, but you can use stock if you like. Pistou, the puree of tomatoes, basil, garlic, and olive oil in this recipe, is a traditional French condiment that adds a burst of flavor just before serving.
- 2 small leeks, white part only
- 1 large potato, peeled
- 1 small onion
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 medium zucchini
- 12 green beans
- 2 medium carrots, peeled
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 quarts chicken stock (or 2 qts water, 4 bouillion cubes, a pinch of thyme, and 1/2 bay leaf OR you can use vegetable broth for a vegetarian option)*
- 4 to 6 ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded
- 4 medium garlic cloves
- 30 fresh basil leaves, washed and dried
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- A few drops of Tabasco sauce
*Use gluten-free stock or bouillon for gluten-free version.
1 Cut the leeks, potato, onion, celery, zucchini, green beans, and carrots into 1/4 inch diced cubes.
2 In a 6-quart stockpot, combine 3 tablespoons of the olive oil with the 3 tablespoons of water. Add the vegetables and cook over medium-low heat until all the water evaporates. Do not brown the vegetables.
3 Add the stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
4 Meanwhile, make the pistou. Put the tomatoes, basil, garlic, and remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil into a food processor. Pulse until puréed.
5 Stir the purée into the cooked soup. Do not let the soup return to a boil. Season, to taste, with salt, pepper, and a few dashes of Tabasco. Serve the soup hot or cold.