My Legume Love Affair: Pistou provençal vegetable soup

The talented and sweet Susan of Well Seasoned Cook is hosting "My legume love affair" a blogging event not only for vegetarians but for all veggie lovers out there. Eating vegetables has been part of our daily life. Although I am certified omnivore, eating vegetables is one thing I enjoy a lot. Probably it was due to the fact that I grew up in the neighborhood where vegetables are growing abundantly. Waterspinach (kangkong), bittergourd (ampalaya), gourd (patola), gumbo (okra), eggplants are part and parcel of the landscape of my childhood. My parents were not farmer, let just say were lucky to live close to one who loves planting. The old couple does the planting while we do the harvesting :-) But seriously, one thing I admire the most on our neighbor was their generosity to give to anyone who's in need. Sometimes we pay but most of the time they were given to us for free.

Although I miss terribly local vegetables in the Philippines living here now in southern France gives me the same delight everytime I consume vegetables. Being the hottest region in France, explains the reason of the bountiful vegetables available in the market. And when it comes to traditional vegetable recipes inherent in provençe ; Ratatouille and the Pistou soup are the ones to remember. The vegetable dish Ratatouille is so popular that it has even been used as a title of a recent box-office movie. While Pistou soup on the other hand, despite its goodness and richeness the popularity remains locally probably too overshadowed by its italian counterpart (Minestrone soup) in the international scene.

In light with this blogging event I am sharing with you a typical and classical vegetable soup in southern France, Pistou (which means literally basil in the provençal dialect)

The chunky pistou soup
3 courgettes cut in cubes
4 big and ripe tomatoes
2 potatoes peeled and diced
3 carrots peeled and diced
200 g of white kidney beans (soaked over night and cook for two hours in crock pot)
150 g of green beans
2 onion leeks (white part only) cleaned and cut about 3 cms long
5 cloves of garlic
3 branches of fresh basil leaves
salt, pepper
5 tbsp of olive oil
3 liters of water
50 g of macaroni
100 g of parmesan cheese

Wash the cut courgette, carrots, leeks and potatoes. Set them aside. String the green beans and cut them into small pieces. Peel and seed the tomatoes and crush them using the back of the fork. Bring the three liters of water to boil then thrwo in all the vegetables including the cooked kidney beans. Halfway the cooking, add salt, pepper and macaroni. Cook for another one hour. In a mortar pound the cloves of garlic and basil leaves. Continue pounding , then gradually add the olive oil. Mix this paste up with a ladleful of broth and pour the mixture on the boiling soup. Serve with grated parmesan cheese on the top.
My Pistou elements in still life


Susan said...

Yummmmmmm, Dhanggit! I'm so glad you joined in with a pistou dish, one of the most sublime Provençal recipes ever. Did you have your crock pot on high power? I've never had any luck cooking soaked dried beans in one; it's always taken much more than the prescribed time for me. I wonder what I am doing wrong.

Thanks for this lovely one-bowl meal!

Chibog in Chief said...

hi susan, i dont have a crock pot..i normally use my terrine, an earthenware cooking dish..i put on the oven..i think the technique is to soak the beans over-night.;the next day rinse it and cook slowly the beans with lots of water.. :-) glad u liked my entry

Mary said...

That pistou looks really fantastic. I'd love to try it someime.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful pistou! We especially love the leeks! Our friends live outside of Paris and their leeks grow like crazy in her yard! We're so jealous because they're pretty expensive here in the US .
You're site is marvelous and we look forward to learning more French and Phillipino food from your site!

Coffee and Vanilla said...

It sounds and looks delicious!!!!

Have a wonderful weekend, Margot

Wandering Chopsticks said...

Sounds like a French minestrone? If pistou means basil, then I'd add a whole lot more than just 3 basil sprigs. :P

Sidney said...

That is healthy stuff!
Everything you need instead of the usual fatty foods.

tigerfish said...

19degC in the room now. I wish I had this soup.

Emily said...

I'm so glad you cleared up the meaning of pistou, for me.
I thought pistou=pesto, but it doesn't. It's the term for the soup, right?
I love hearing about Provence. I dream about going back.

desie said...

chunky soups are the best. this sounds perfect for a cold night.

Gloria Baker said...

I love soups Dhanggit in every time!!! xxxxxx Gloria

Rosie said...

Hi Dhanggit, your pistou just looks delicious!! Soups are just so perfect and with all those yummy veggies its perfect :)

Rosie x

haze said...

Wow i didn't tell tell I like sorts of beans, if one time I will make this soup can I just pass on the pasta ? Do you have an alternative for that ? Will hve some friends coming over this Wednesday and I would like to prepare something new :D ! Pinoy recipe ha yung easy lang, will be happy if you can help me out on this !

Big Boys Oven said...

this is good stuff, oh I like it, I am sure I can enjoy such delicious soup while resting on my couch!