Vegetable soup with pistou, which is almost a meal in itself, is the pride of Provence. The term «pistou», often confused with the neighbouring and perhaps more well known Ligurian «pesto», means «crushed».
Pistou was a condiment traditionally prepared by crushing together basil, garlic, olive oil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese in a mortar and pestle. You can add different types of vegetables to the actual soup.
Nowadays it’s much more practical to use a food processor instead of a mortar and pestle. In case fresh beans are not available, you may substitute them with canned beans: although the end result will not taste the same, you’ll at least save on the shelling time.
Try our recipe for Vegetable Soup with Pistou
Originally published in the Journal de Montréal on September 9, 2007.