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There’s got to be a way to bring a little bit of France into the menu at MAL, nothing too exotic, but something all those old regulars might even like … like soup! I’ll try one of my favorite Julia Child recipes – Soupe au Pistou.

In France, this is traditionally a summer soup, but I make it ‘year round. And it goes together vite vite (that’s French for fast).

Soup Ingredients

Soupe au Pistou

Serves 6

For the soup:

3 quarts water

2 cups each: diced carrots, potatoes, leeks

1 tbs. salt

2 cups diced fresh or frozen green beans

2 cups canned kidney beans

1/3 cup small pasta, such as orzo or small shells; broken spaghetti works too

1 slice good quality white bread, crumbled into bits

few grinds of fresh pepper

pinch of saffron

The vegetables

For the pistou:

4 cloves garlic, mashed

4 tbs. tomato paste

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 1 1/2 tbs. dried basil

1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup good olive oil

The Pistou

Put the water, salt, carrots, potatoes and leeks in a large heavy pot, bring to a boil and simmer for 40 mins. Add the green beans, kidney beans, pasta, bread, pepper and saffron. Simmer for 15 mins., or until the beans are just cooked. Taste the soup and correct the seasoning if necessary.

Make the pistou while the soup is cooking. Combine the garlic, tomato paste, basil and cheese in a medium bowl. With a whisk, slowly beat in the olive oil. When the soup is finished, stir the pistou into the soup in three batches. The soup is ready to eat immediately but may also be made a day in advance and reheated.

Soupe au Pistou

Adapted from “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck

by Susan Sherrill Axelrod
photos by Ted Axelrod

2 Responses to “Soupe au Pistou”

  1. pam says:

    Susan aka Cora gave me half this cake and I ate it for breakfast all week, especially delicious after heating in the microwave for 40 seconds. I think it was even dietetic since I wasn’t hungry for anything else until mid-afternoon.

  2. Jill says:

    To any readers who may be considering making the soup, I made it yesterday, and it was wonderful! Thanks for the recipe! :-)

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