Provencal Vegetable Soup & Basil Garlic Pistou . .


Pistou, the Provençal cousin of pesto, is stirred into this summer vegetable soup just before serving. To make this recipe vegetarian: omit the pancetta and substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock.




For the Pistou


4 cups packed basil

1 cup grated parmesan

1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp. kosher salt

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 plum tomato, cored

For the Soup


1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 oz. pancetta, minced

5 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

1⁄2 medium zucchini, chopped

1⁄4 head Savoy cabbage, cored and thinly shredded

8 cups chicken stock

7 whole peeled canned tomatoes, chopped

1⁄3 cup broken dried spaghetti

1 (15-oz.) can cannellini beans

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste



     Make the pistou: Process basil, parmesan, oil, salt, garlic, and tomato in a food processor until finely ground. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

     Heat oil in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat; add pancetta and cook, stirring often, until fat has rendered, about 2 minutes. Add garlic, carrots, celery, and onions, reduce heat to medium; cook, covered and stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, 12–15 minutes. Add zucchini and cabbage; cook, covered, until wilted, 3–5 minutes. Add stock and tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Mash half the beans with a fork; add to soup along with whole beans—cook until warmed through. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls; serve with pistou dolloped on top.