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Pistou soup
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Preparation time: 90 minutes – cooking time: 90 minutes – serves 6

Ingredients: 3 – 4l water, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, 300g carrots, 500g butterbeans in their pods, 250g borlotti beans, 250g romano green beans, 5 tomatoes, 5 courgettes, 6 – 8 medium-sized potatoes, 150g pasta shells, salt, pepper.

To make the ‘pistou’: 6 garlic cloves, basil leaves, 4 pinches of salt, 3 tomatoes, 100g Dutch cheese (Edam or Mimolette), 100ml olive oil.

To make the soup: remove the stalk from the romano beans and cut them into 2cm pieces. Shell the butterbeans and borlotti beans. Pour everything into a pot with 3l of water. Bring to the boil, and simmer for 30 minutes. Peel the vegetables: potatoes, carrots, courgettes and garlic. Peel the tomatoes. Dice the carrots. Leave the potatoes and courgettes whole. Add all the vegetables to the pot and cook for 1 hour on a low heat.

To make the ‘pistou’: peel the three tomatoes and chop finely. In a mortar, crush the garlic, add salt and the basil leaves. Reduce to a sauce. Once well crushed, add the chopped tomatoes, pepper and grated Dutch cheese (The Port of Marseille meant our ancestors had easier access to this cheese than any other, and thank goodness, because it’s perfect for this soup), whilst stirring in the olive oil.

In the soup, add the pasta and once cooked, crush the courgettes and potatoes to make the soup thicker. Adjust seasoning. At the last minute, add the pistou, once you have taken the soup off the heat. Never boil the soup after having added the basil mix.

Recipe taken from ‘La Cuisine du soleil’ by Gui Gedda, published by Jeanne Laffite.

Southern flavours and cuisine©CIVP / F Milo