Thursday, June 18, 2009

Provencal Vegetable Soup - Soupe Au Pistou

Provencal Vegetable Soup - Soupe Au Pistou
Gourmet, May 2009

During the spring and summer, I love to take advantage of the fresh fruits and vegetables in our Farmers' Markets. This soup is packed full of beautiful vegetables, cooked only briefly until tender so they retain their vibrant colors. Edamame is used instead of the traditional white beans. It takes only about an hour, including prep time, so it's a simple, healthy, and delicious dinner for a week night.

Leeks, carrots, celery, garlic and thyme

Edamame, green and yellow zucchini, green beans, Swiss chard, and potatoes

Swiss Chard

The leek, celery, carrot, garlic, thyme sprig, potatoes, and Swiss chard stalks are sauteed first, and the edamame, zucchini, green beans, pasta, and chard leaves go in after the water is added and comes to a boil.

Soup Ingredients & Preparation

1 large leek (white and pale green parts only), washed and thinly sliced (2 cups)
1 celery rib, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large carrot, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 large thyme sprig
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 pound Swiss chard, stems cut into 1/2-inch pieces and leaves coarsely chopped
8 cups water
2 cups thawed frozen edamame (fresh soybeans)
1/2 pound zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup medium pasta shells

Cook leek, celery, carrot, garlic, and thyme sprig in oil with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a 5-to 6-quart heavy pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables brown and stick to bottom of pot, 10 to 15 minutes.

Add potatoes and chard stems with 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add water and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up brown bits.

Stir in edamame, zucchini, green beans, pasta, chard leaves, and 1/4 tsp salt and simmer, uncovered, until pasta is al dente and vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Discard thyme sprig.

Remove soup from heat and stir in half of pistou and salt and pepper to taste. Serve soup with remaining pistou.

Pistou Ingredients & Preparation

1 small tomato
1 cup packed basil leaves
1/2 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup coarsely grated Gruyère (3 ounces)

Heat a dry small skillet (not nonstick) over medium heat until hot, then char tomato on all sides. Core tomato, then purée with basil, parsley, and garlic in a food processor. Add oil and cheese and blend well.

If you have a gas stove, I think it's easier to char the tomato in this fashion.

Beautiful basil combines with the tomato, Italian parsley, garlic, olive oil and grated Gruyere to make the Pistou

Half the pistou is stirred into the soup and the remainder is served with the soup.

Accompany the soup with grilled baguette slices brushed with olive oil, and a glass of wine...Bon Appétit!

1 comment:

Rose said...

MMMMMmmmmmmm looks delicious!!! All those veggies are just clamoring for me to go to the farmer's market!