Vegetable Soup with Basil and Garlic (La Soupe Au Pistou) Recipe

Vegetable Soup with Basil and Garlic (La Soupe Au Pistou) Recipes

Ingredients :

50g (2 oz) dried haricot beans

salt and freshly milled black pepper

30ml (2 tbsp) olive oil

1 large onion, skinned and finely chopped

1.1 liters (2 pints) beef or chicken stock

100g (4 oz) French beans, topped, tailed and halved

1 courgette, trimmed and diced

2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

40g (1 1/2 oz) vermicelli

60ml (4 tbsp) pistou

freshly grated gruyere or parmesan cheese to serve

Method :

Soak the haricot beans in cold water overnight. Drain the beans and tip them into a small saucepan. Cover with fresh water, add a little salt and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 1 1/4 hours or until tender.

Drain. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook it gently for about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Add the French beans, courgette and potatoes. Cover and simmer gently for 40 minutes, then add the vermicelli and drained haricot beans and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir the pistou into the soup. Then taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve with the cheese.

Serves 4-6

As in many other Nicois recipes, there is a strong Italian influence clearly evident in this soup, which is a close relation toe minestrone. To make the process quicker, rather than soaking the haricot beans and cooking them yourself, use half the drained contents of a 400g (14 oz) can.

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