Soupe au Pistou

For my mom’s birthday this year we had a big party with several different soups, and breads and crackers for people to choose from (and gourmet cupcakes for dessert). It was a big hit, and so was this soup, the most GI friendly of all the soups made (use red potatos or omit all together).

Soupe au Pistou

2 cups dried white beans, soaked overnight and rinsed
10 cups water
2 leeks
2 carrots, chopped into quarter pieces
2 stalks celery with leaves, chopped
2 zucchini, cubed
3 potatoes, cubed
15 green beans, cut into small pieces
3 tomatoes (or 6 canned), peeled, seeded, and chopped
¼ cup parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

In a large soup pot, bring the soaked beans and fresh water to a boil. Add all the vegetables and herbs, bring to a second boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for an hour. Meanwhile, make the pistou if you don’t have any handy in the freezer.

Add the salt and pepper to the soup, stir well, and continue simmering uncovered for another 15-20 minutes.

When ready to serve, ladle the soup into big bowls. Pass the pistou–and extra Parmesan cheese, if you like–so people can load up the bowl with flavor that releases itself right under their noses.

**Instead of pistou you can used storebought pesto. Shhhh, don’t tell anyone!

Pistou

6 cloves garlic
4 Tablespoons tomato paste
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup olive oil
3-4 Tablespoons fresh parsley

Press the garlic, then whisk the tomato paste, basil, cheese, oil, and parsley with it in a blender til it is a rich paste.

***Note from my Mom: leave out the tomatoe paste, use some sun-dried tomatoes in the soup***

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