Potage Pistou

Potage Pistou—a wonderful vegetable soup recipe with fresh tomatoes, leeks, potato, onion, celery, zucchini, green beans, carrots, and basil.

Vegetable Soup with Sweet Basil
Elise Bauer

This is a lovely summer vegetable soup that my father discovered years ago from Wolfgang Puck (who was recounting a favorite recipe from his mother).

It's a French classic "Soup au Pistou" for which you gently cook very fresh summer vegetables in either water or stock, and stir in a paste ("pistou") of basil, garlic, and tomatoes.

This soup is similar to a light Italian minestrone, but without the white beans, and with a pistou "pesto" for flavor.

It's simple, light, healthy, and delicious. Clean eats that taste amazing!

Dad makes the soup several times each summer, especially when the garden is producing a lot of summer squash and tomatoes. It's a great way to use up garden produce.

Potage Pistou

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Servings 6 servings

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.

Using gluten-free stock or bouillon makes this a gluten-free soup.


  • 2 small leeks, white part only

  • 1 large potato, peeled

  • 1 small onion

  • 2 stalks celery

  • 1 medium zucchini

  • 12 cups green beans

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled

  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons water

  • 2 quarts chicken stock (or 2 quarts water, 4 bouillon 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

  • Kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 to 3 drops Tabasco sauce

Special Equipment

  • Food processor


  1. Prep the vegetables:

    Cut the leeks, potato, onion, celery, zucchini, green beans, and carrots into 1/4-inch diced cubes.

  2. Cook the vegetables:

    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 and simmer:

    Add the stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

  4. Make the basil pistou:

    Put the tomatoes, garlic, basil, 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.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
430 Calories
19g Fat
55g Carbs
16g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 430
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 3g 16%
Cholesterol 10mg 3%
Sodium 618mg 27%
Total Carbohydrate 55g 20%
Dietary Fiber 12g 44%
Total Sugars 21g
Protein 16g
Vitamin C 55mg 276%
Calcium 186mg 14%
Iron 4mg 24%
Potassium 1479mg 31%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.