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.
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 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
2 to 3 drops Tabasco sauce
- Food processor
Prep the vegetables:
Cut the leeks, potato, onion, celery, zucchini, green beans, and carrots into 1/4 inch diced cubes.
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.
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.
Make the basil pistou:
Put the tomatoes, basil, garlic, and remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil into a food processor. Pulse until puréed.
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)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 19g||24%|
|Saturated Fat 3g||16%|
|Total Carbohydrate 55g||20%|
|Dietary Fiber 12g||44%|
|Total Sugars 21g|
|Vitamin C 55mg||276%|
|*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.|