Summer soup for a rainy day

Published 5:20 pm Tuesday, May 3, 2011

So it’s raining this Tuesday, which makes me think of curling up with a good bowl of soup!

There’s a little chill in the air compared to what we’ve been having, but I still didn’t want anything too heavy. With all the planting going on I couldn’t help but think of some fresh veggies in a warm broth.

This is actually a French version of the typical vegetable soup, minus the saffron because it’s difficult to find around here. If you have some add 1 teaspoon of saffron threads to the chicken stock. Otherwise, follow the directions and enjoy!

Email newsletter signup

Serve hot with some toasted French bread, dipped in extra virgin olive oil and fresh ground black pepper. Yummy!

French Vegetable Soup

2 tablespoons good olive oil

2 cups chopped onions (2 onions) [vidalia onions are sweeter]

2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 to 4 leeks)

3 cups half-inch-diced unpeeled boiling potatoes(1 pound)

3 cups half-inch-diced carrots (1 pound)

1 and a half tablespoons salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 quarts chicken stock

half pound haricots verts (a fancy French name for long, skinny green beans), ends removed and cut in half

4 ounces small shell pasta

1 cup Pistou, recipe follows

Freshly grated Parmesan for serving

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 bring to a boil. Then simmer uncovered for 30 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender. Add the haricots verts (green beans) and pasta, bring to a simmer and cook for 15 more minutes.

To serve, whisk a quarter cup of the pistou into the hot soup and season to taste. Depending on the saltiness of your chicken stock, you may need to add up to another tablespoon of salt. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese and more pistou.


4 large garlic cloves

quarter cup tomato paste

24 large basil leaves (Fresh)

half cup freshly grated Parmesan

half cup good olive oil

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.