Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Soupe au Pistou

Since last week I made an Irish dish for Rob, I decided to pick a French recipe for me. As I was reading through my French cookbook, I found a recipe that seemed perfect for the first week of Spring. It calls for white coco beans, but we couldn't find any of those. It also called for winter savory, but couldn't find that either! It still turned out delicious. It is a two part recipe, one for the soup and then one for the pisto. Enjoy!

Soupe au Pistou

2 cups chicken broth
3 small boiling potatoes, peeled and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 large zucchini, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/2 lb slender green beans, stem ends trimmed & cut into 1-inch lengths
1/2 lb white great northern beans
1/2 cup spaghetti, broken into 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup Pistou

In a large, heavy soup pot over medium-high heat, bring the stock and 6 cups water to a boil. Add the potatoes, carrots, thyme, winter savory, salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the carrots are tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes.



Add the zucchini, onion, green beans, and shelling beans and cook until the beans are tender to the bite, 15-20 minutes.



Add the spaghetti and cook until tender to the bite, 12-15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Stir 2 tablespoons of the Pistou into the soup. Use the remaining Pistou to taste; can be passed around the table.




Pistou

3 or 4 garlic cloves, coarsley chopped
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

In a mortar, combine the garlic and salt. Using a pestle, and working in a circular motion, grind together  until a paste forms. Add the basil leaves, a few at a time, and crush with the pestle. Add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream, grinding with the pestle until the mixture is bright green and thick. Alternatively, in a blender or food processor, combine the garlic, salt and basil and process until a paste forms. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream, processing until the mixture is thick and green.


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