ffwd – provençal vegetable soup

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.


15 thoughts on “ffwd – provençal vegetable soup

  1. Wow, you are hot, hot, hot… I hope the soup helped you to sweat out the heat. The Southeast Asians swear that eating hot and spicy foods when it is hot is the best way to cope with heat… so bring on the soup and a cup of hot tea. Thai basil actually sounds really delicious.

  2. At that temperature I would skip cooking any meal. That is really hot. Your soup looks quite delicious, we enjoyed this one too.

  3. Oh man, 117 degrees! I would be hibernating with my air conditioning on high!! It was 85 and very humid in my neck of the woods, and I thought of skipping it until cooler weather, however the good Dorista won out!!
    Your soup looks delish! Glad you enjoyed it, I loved it, too!

  4. What a good sport you are to make this when it’s 117 outside. Ugh! I thought it was hot here at 90. It was such a delicious soup, so it was so worth it. Definitely try banh mi with your prolific Thai basil. You’ll love it.

  5. Oh, Candy, I remember 110 degree to 122 degree days in Henderson/Las Vegas during the ten summers we lived there. I now wonder how I stood that temperature — even though, as we are always told – it is a “dry” heat. Agreed, it is the desert but hot is hot. I applaud you for making soup even though I don’t think this was heavy, just delightfully nourishing. I urge you to add the beans the next time you make this, they are a delicious and nutritious addition. Love that last photo. It’s just beautiful.

  6. I enjoy soup in hot weather, but it never gets up to 117 here. Wow, that’s hard to even imagine! I’m so glad you ended up enjoying the soup. I hope things have cooled down where you are.

  7. 117? I would melt. I hope its cooler in Scottsdale in October when we are out there for vacation. (P.S. if you are interested in meeting up while I am out here, let me know and maybe we can work something out if the timing matches).
    You are a trooper for making this one (and eating it). I hope there was much air conditioning present.

  8. Oh, my! You are a trooper. I am just catching up on everyone’s posts about this now, as I finally posted about it myself. I used the last of my summer garden offerings in this soup and it was delicious. Yours looks well-worth braving the heat!

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