As one of our French Fridays recipes for the month of July, the conversation around this has been as much about the weather as anything else. Since I’d already been behind on recipes this month, I felt bad for not completing this one, so I went out and picked up the remaining ingredients I’d need. On my way home from my last appointment of the day, the temperature registered at 117 degrees! I talked myself into making some soup, reasoning that in Mexico and Southeast Asia, they often heat hot & spicy foods to keep cool…
This soup is a layering of flavors and textures, with each ingredient added based on amount of simmering required or where the flavor note should come in. I tried to keep myself to a half-recipe as I’ve found that soups in AMFT produce a bit more than expected.
This starts with some olive oil and chopped onions, cooked until soft. Then some chopped garlic is added for a quick sauté.
Once that’s complete, some herbs are added – in this instance some thyme, rosemary and fresh oregano. Then layering over that: vegetable stock and carrots; mini potatoes (of course you can use chunks, but these multi-colored mini ones were irresistible). Pasta rounds out the longer-cooking ingredients.
Next, come green beans. The recipe calls for canned cannellini beans as well, which I did not add this time. Then finally, the zucchini, tomatoes and non-traditionally, fresh corn.
While all of this simmering is happening, a fresh basil pesto is created for the iconic topping. It’s actually pistou in French, hence its real name soupe du pistou. I only had Thai and cinnamon basil available, but it still turned out nicely, and I didn’t think that it would matter. Maybe even add a bit of underlying flavor.
For serving, all that’s required is a dollop of pesto, a drizzle of olive oil and a few basil leaves.
I served mine with a nice white wine and some crusty French bread. Nothing more was needed. I have to say, this soup was divine! Easily the best “vegetable soup” I’ve ever had. I’m oh, so happy that I ignored the thermometer and made this. This is an absolute keeper, and one I’ll make again for sure.
If you’d like to see what the other Dorista’s thought, you can check out their posts here.