Friday, January 14, 2011

Iggy's Provencal Vegetable Soup with Pistou

Ingredients for the soup:
2 T good olive oil
2 cups chopped onions (2 onions)
2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 to 4 leeks)
3 cups 1/2-inch-diced unpeeled boiling potatoes (1 pound)
3 cups 1/2-inch-diced carrots (1 pound)
1 1/2 T kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 quarts homemade chicken stock or canned broth
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1/2 pound haricots verts, ends removed and cut in 1/2
4 ounces spaghetti, broken in pieces
1 cup Pistou, recipe follows
freshly grated parmesan-reggiano, for serving

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Ingredients for the Pistou:
4 large garlic cloves
1/4 cup tomato paste
24 large basil leaves
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan-reggiano
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Preparing the soup:
Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot, add the onions, and saute over low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Add the leeks, potatoes, carrots, salt, and pepper and saute over medium heat for another 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and saffron, bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender. Add the haricots verts and spaghetti, bring to a simmer, and cook for 15 more minutes.

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Preparing the Pistou:
Place the garlic, tomato paste, basil, and parmesan in the bowl of a food processor and puree. With the motor running, slowly pour the olive oil down the feed tube to make a paste. Pack into a container, pour a film of olive oil on top, and close the lid.

Makes 1 cup

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To serve:
Whisk 1/4 cup of the pistou into the hot soup, then season to taste. Depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock, you may need to add up to another tablespoon of salt. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese and more Pistou.

Serves 6 to 8


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