Entrées

Provencal Vegetable Soup (au pistou)

This proven­cal veg­etable soup, called “soupe au pis­tou” in French, is a well-known spe­cial­i­ty of Provence. It con­tains a vari­ety of veg­eta­bles, and most impor­tant­ly comes with pis­tou, which is the French ver­sion of pesto. Pis­tou is a basil-gar­lic paste, which dif­fers from pesto in that it does not con­tain any nuts. The basil paste is tra­di­tion­al­ly added to the soup just before serv­ing, some­times imme­di­ate­ly mixed with the rest of the soup, or oth­er times, placed in the mid­dle of the soup so every­one can choose as lit­tle or as much as they wish. I like it best when the pis­tou is mixed with the soup at least 15 min­utes before serv­ing, so as to allow time for the fla­vors to min­gle. I find it even bet­ter on the sec­ond day, when the veg­eta­bles and pis­tou have min­gled overnight. Pis­tou is real­ly the high­light of this soup and what makes it so deli­cious!

provencal vegetable soup (au pistou)

Utensils

To make the pis­tou, it is best to use a mor­tar and pes­tle. But, if you don’t have one, you can use a blender.

For the soup, you will need a big pot with a lid.

Recipe

The tra­di­tion­al ver­sion of this proven­cal soup adds bacon to the veg­eta­bles, but I make mine with veg­eta­bles only, as I like it as light and healthy as pos­si­ble. The soup usu­al­ly tastes best on the sec­ond day, so it is a good idea to make more than you actu­al­ly need right away.

Print Recipe
Proven­cal Veg­etable Soup (au pis­tou)
provencal vegetable soup (au pistou)
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 30 min­utes
Cook Time 1 hour
Serv­ings
peo­ple
Ingre­di­ents
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 30 min­utes
Cook Time 1 hour
Serv­ings
peo­ple
Ingre­di­ents
provencal vegetable soup (au pistou)
Instruc­tions
  1. Peel all veg­eta­bles (except for the zuc­chi­ni). Slice the car­rots and dice all oth­er veg­eta­bles.
    vegetables for pistou soup
  2. Fill a big pot with water. Sea­son with salt and pep­per. Bring to a boil. Add the veg­eta­bles, cov­er, and cook on low heat for 1 hour.
  3. In the mean­time, pre­pare the pis­tou. Grind the basil to a paste in the mor­tar (or blender). Add the toma­to (peeled, seeds removed, and diced), and the minced gar­lic, mix, and grind again. Add the olive oil, one driz­zle at a time, until you get the con­sis­ten­cy of a paste. Taste and sea­son with salt if need­ed.
  4. Take the soup out of the pot and pour it into a serv­ing dish. Sea­son with salt and pep­per, and add the pis­tou. Per­son­al­ly, I like to mix the pis­tou with the rest of the soup 15 min­utes before serv­ing, and I find it most deli­cious on the sec­ond day, when the veg­eta­bles have min­gled with the pis­tou overnight. Enjoy!
    pistou soup
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Bon Appétit!

French Mom

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Proven­cal Veg­etable Soup (au pis­tou)
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6 thoughts on “Provencal Vegetable Soup (au pistou)

  1. Remem­ber the Provence which means Province in old French comes from Provin­cia in Latin. That stems from the conapquest of its ter­ri­to­ry by the Romans some one hun­dred years before the con­quest of the remain­der by Julius Cae­sar. So, it is the most civ­i­lized area of France. No won­der that you may find in it such déli­cate recipe as the Pis­tou soup, a mar­vel for con­nais­seurs and easy to make. Enjoy !
    .

  2. This was espe­cial­ly good soup. It was even bet­ter on the sec­ond and third days, after the fla­vors of the veg­eta­bles and the pis­tou are able to inte­grate into the soup (over time).

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