Friday, February 25, 2011

vegetable soup with pistou

Our Culantro Rojo basket was filled with the usual veggie goodness.  We are not vegetarians, but I cook vegetarian about half of the time.  I thought I'd use the shell beans as the base for soup.  Soup seems all wrong for the tropics, but I think it works when it's not too heavy (with cream or meat).  A light soup, finished with fresh cilantro or basil is just about perfect on a hot day.  This soup is finished with pistou, which is like pesto without the nuts.  This soup is very simple, almost too plain, but the pistou makes it surprisingly tasty.
shelling beans is the perfect job for a kid
Vegetable Soup
shell beans (these came in a sweet little bundle--about a cup and a half shelled)
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons thyme
1 onion chopped
2 carrots diced
1 cup cubed squash 
2 cups green beans chopped 
2 cups zucchini diced
6 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (reserve blanching water for soup)
salt to taste
pasta (I used half a box of whole wheat rotini that was in the cupboard, but orzo or something small would be nicer)

To cook the beans, bring a medium pot of water to a rolling boil.  Add the beans and bay leaves.  Cooking time depends on the beans--up to two hours of simmering. 
beans and bay
When the beans are just about cooked, start the soup.  Saute the onion, thyme and carrot until the carrots are tender.

Add the green beans and squash.
strings off!
Next add the zucchini and tomatoes and their water.  Add the shell beans with their cooking liquid (leave the bay leaves in).  Top up with water to get a nice soupy consistency.  Salt to taste. 

Bring soup to a boil and add pasta.  When the pasta is done the soup is ready!

While the pasta cooks, make the pistou.

too bad there's not scratch n' sniff on the internet!
large bunch of basil
1/4 cup olive oil
2 (or more) cloves of garlic

Pulse in the food processor to an even consistency, or if you're fancy use a mortar and pestle.

parm and pistou

Serve the soup.  Finish the soup with grated parmesan and a large dollop of pistou.


  1. "If you're fancy". Lol. This looks good.(Everything you make looks good though.) I'll make it and pretend I'm in the tropics.