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Summer pistou soup

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Summer pistou soup

Starter Serves 4 30 min
There are literally hundreds of recipes for this Provençal vegetarian soup and its Italian counterpart, minestrone. This one is designed to take advantage of summer abundance, but you can use pretty much any soup-friendly vegetable you like. The pistou sauce is a lovely addition, but Italian pesto is essentially the same sauce, and if you want to cut corners just use some good stuff from a jar.


For the pistou:

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 50g basil leaves
  • 50g Parmesan, grated (optional)
  • 150ml olive oil

For the soup

  • 200g broad beans, podded weight
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 200g new potatoes (or other), scrubbed and diced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • 1.5 litres veg stock
  • 250g asparagus, cut into 3cm lengths
  • 200g white beans, cooked and rinsed
  • salt and pepper
Image of Summer pistou soup


Prep time: 5 min
Cooking time: 25 min

To make the pistou

  • Step 1

    pound the garlic and salt in a pestle and mortar. Pound in the basil (you may need some oil to loosen it), then the cheese and oil. Or you can blitz everything in a processor.

To make the soup

  • Step 1

    Boil the broad beans for 3 minutes, drain, refresh in cold water, drain again and remove the outer skins. Keep to one side.
  • Step 2

    Heat the oil in a pan and cook the onion slowly for 8 minutes, until soft but not coloured.
  • Step 3

    Add the potatoes, carrots, tomatoes and stock. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the broad beans, asparagus and white beans. Simmer for 3 minutes. Season and serve with the pistou to swirl through.

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