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Soupe Au Pistou

How to cook: Soupe Au Pistou

Pistou is the Provencal version of Italian pesto, and to make it you need a big bunch of fresh basil. This version of the soup is quicker to cook than the traditional one and can be made with your choice of Mediterranean vegetables

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 red onion, cut into wedges

1 large potato, cut into 1 -cm cubes

a handful (about 125 g) of soup pasta, such as orecchiette (or the traditional vermicelli)

4 baby carrots, halved or quartered lengthways

250 g Brussels sprouts, halved, or baby courgettes, cut into thick slices

1 red pepper, halved, deseeded and sliced

250 g shelled green peas

1 litre chicken or vegetable stock

250 g cooked cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

PISTOU

leaves from 1 large bunch of basil

2 garlic cloves, crushed

olive oil

Directions:

To make the pistou, put the basil and garlic in a food processor and blend as finely as possible. Add enough olive oil in a steady stream to form a loose paste. Set aside.

Heat the measured olive oil in a small frying pan, add the onion wedges and fry gently on both sides until softened. Cook the
potato and soup pasta in boiling salted water until tender Drain. Blanch the carrots, Brussels sprouts, pepper and peas in boiling salted water until tender but crisp, about 3-5 minutes. Drain and refresh in cold water

Bring the stock to the boil and add salt and pepper, the pasta, vegetables and cannellini beans. Simmer for 2 minutes or until heated through.

Serve in heated soup plates, with a separate bowl of pistou for guests to stir into their soup.

makes 4 servings

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