Photographer: Todd Zawistowski
Feel free to mix and match fresh garden vegetables in Soupe au Pistou, a traditional rustic vegetable soup from the South of France. The one must is the basil pistou spooned into each bowl just before eating. The basil mixture (similar to pesto but without the pine nuts) transforms this simple soup into a heavenly slurp of summer. While some variations include the grated cheese in the pistou, I find it balls up in the hot soup, so I sprinkle it on as a garnish.
In a heavy soup pot sauté garlic and onion in olive oil just until onions are clear. Add stock, potatoes, carrots and tomatoes (break up the tomatoes when they are in the pot using a heavy spoon). Simmer covered just until potatoes and carrots are barely soft, about 30 minutes.
While the soup is cooking, place pistou ingredients in a food processor and mix until fine. Grate the cheese.
Just before serving add the cannellini, green beans and thyme, and simmer 2 minutes, then add the zucchini and summer squash and simmer 2 more minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.