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Soup Au Pistou

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Soup Au Pistou

This wonderful bean and vegetable soup is finished with a dollop of pistou or basil paste. It is truly delicious served with fresh crusty bread.


  • 12 cup dried cannellini beans
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 250 gram piece pumpkin, peeled and diced (about 1½ cups)
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 leek, trimmed and diced
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 2.5 litres water or chicken stock
  • 4 large tomatoes, blanched and peeled
  • handful or two of green beans, trimmed and/or 2 courgettes trimmed
  • 1 cup peas (optional)
  • ½ cup broken spaghetti
  • pistou to serve


  1. Soak the dried beans overnight in three times their water. Drain well.
  2. Put them in a large pot with three times their water and simmer for 1 hour. Drain well.
  3. Return to a clean saucepan with the carrots, pumpkin, potatoes, onion, leek, bouquet garni and water or stock. Bring to the boil then simmer gently for 15 minutes.
  4. Cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze out the seeds and discard. Chop the flesh. Cut the beans into 2cm length, or dice the courgette, and add to the soup with the tomatoes. Simmer a further 10 minutes before adding the peas (if using) and broken spaghetti. Simmer 15 minutes. Remove the bouquet garni.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the pistou and serve immediately. Do not re-heat.


  1. In a food processor put 2 large peeled cloves garlic, 10 large basil leaves, ½ cup grated parmesan cheese. Process until well chopped. Gradually pour in ¼ cup fine olive oil to form a paste.

Cooks Tips

A bouquet garni is made by taking a fresh bayleaf and wrapping it up with a few sprigs of fresh thyme and parsley.

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