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Provencal Vegetable Soup with Pistou

Provencal Vegetable Soup with Pistou

  • Author: Mila Furman
  • Total Time: 45 min
  • Yield: 8 people 1x


A classic French country vegetable soup loaded with fresh good for you veggies and finished off with an unforgettable nut free French pesto. Comfort food that is both healthy and hearty!


  • For the soup:
  • 2 quarts vegetable stock
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced or pressed)
  • A few sprigs each thyme and parsley (a Parmesan rind and a bay leaf)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 leeks (white and light green part only, cleaned and sliced)
  • 1 pound 14-ounce can tomatoes (with liquid)
  • 2 carrots (diced)
  • 2 celery stalks (diced)
  • 1 medium-size zucchini (scrubbed and diced)
  • 1 medium-size turnips (peeled and diced)
  • 1 medium-size parsnip (peeled and sliced)
  • 1/2 pound green beans (about 2 cups, trimmed and broken into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1/2 cup soup pasta (such as macaroni or small shells)
  • Freshly ground pepper


  • 2 large garlic cloves (halved, green shoots removed)
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan for sprinkling



  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy pot, and add the chopped onion and a generous pinch of salt.
  2. Cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes. Add the leeks and garlic.
  3. Stir together for a few minutes, and add the tomatoes. Cook, stirring, until the tomatoes have cooked down slightly and the mixture is fragrant, five to 10 minutes.
  4. Add all of the remaining vegetables except the green beans, and bring back to a simmer. Cover and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes to an hour. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

For the pistou

  1. To make the pistou, Combine all the ingredients in a food processor except the olive oil. With the machine running, stream in the olive oil.
  2. Add the pasta to the simmering soup about 10 minutes before serving, and cook until cooked al dente.
  3. Add the green beans about 5 minutes after the pasta.
  4. Add pepper, taste and adjust salt.
  5. Serve, adding a spoonful of pesto to each bowl for guests to stir in. Pass additional Parmesan for sprinkling.
  6. Serve with crostini for perfect dipping.