Sunday, July 22, 2018

Provencal Vegetable Soup with Basil Pistou: Summer in A Bowl for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I was looking for a veg-friendly recipe this week to make the most of summer's bounty and remembered that I had Eric Ripert's Provencal Vegetable Soup with Basil Pistou tagged to try. From Food & Wine online, it uses ham rind and chicken stock, so I adapted it to be vegan. It's not heavy, but the white beans and the fiber from all of the veggies make it satisfying and the pistou or basil pesto stirred in gives it plenty of summery flavor.  

I really didn't measure my veggie quantities (just going with what I had from the market) and I used my entire package of Great Northern Beans, uping the broth and liquid. To get that smoky, meaty vibe, I used a mix of low sodium no-chicken and no-beef bouillon cubes and added a little smoked paprika.

Food & Wine says, "This vegetable-packed soup from star chef Eric Ripert gets exceptional flavor from pistou, the pesto-style basil puree that’s served with it. To make a vegetarian version, omit the ham and substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock."

Provencal Vegetable Soup
Slightly Adapted from Eric Ripert via
(Serves 4 to 6)

1/2 cup dried navy beans, soaked overnight and drained (I used and entire bag)
one (2-inch) square of ham rind or meat (I omitted)
2 thyme sprigs, 4 parsley sprigs & 1 bay leaf, tied together with kitchen twine (I doubled)
1 qt chicken stock or low-sodium broth (I used 2 qts-a combination of veggie non-chicken and non-beef broth)
1 medium tomato, cored
3 cups lightly packed basil leaves
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
fine sea salt
(I added 1 tsp smoked paprika)
1 medium carrot, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 medium fennel bulb—halved lengthwise, cored & cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 small zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 small onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
6 oz haricots verts, cut into 1-inch lengths 

In a large saucepan, cover the navy beans, ham rind and herb bundle with the chicken stock and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer until the beans are tender, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of water to a simmer. Using a sharp paring knife, score an X on the bottom of the tomato. Add to the saucepan and blanch just until the skin starts to peel, about 30 seconds. Transfer the tomato to an ice water bath to cool. Peel and seed 
the tomato, then cut it into 1/4-inch dice.

In a blender or food processor, pulse the basil with the garlic until finely chopped. With the machine on, gradually add the olive oil until incorporated. Season the pistou with salt and pepper.

Remove the ham and herb bundle from the beans. Add the tomato, carrot, fennel, zucchini, onion and haricots verts and season with a generous pinch of salt. Simmer over moderately low heat until the 
vegetables are tender, about 12 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper and ladle into bowls. Serve with the pistou, stirring it into the soup at the table.

The soup and pistou can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat the soup; serve the pistou at room temperature.

Notes/Results: Just a simple, summery vegetable soup on its own, but add the pistou and the flavor goes to another level. I cooked my beans about 40 minutes before adding the vegetables--just to make sure they were tender enough. I like the combination of veggies--especially the fennel and how they stay slightly firm because you only cook them about 12 minutes. I would happily make this soup and the pistou again.

This soup is linking up at I Heart Cooking Clubs where this weeks theme is From the Garden-Eric Ripert recipes with ingredients from the garden or grocery store produce aisle.

Lets take a look into the Souper Sundays kitchen.

Tina of Squirrel Head Manor joins me this week with a healthy Greek Chicken and Chickpea Salad. She says, "This recipe came from a book I checked out about Power Bowls.  The combo of these ingredients called out as something nice and cool to have during the steamy summer months.  It's actually meant to be combined together, without a carb, but I kept the salad separate from the chicken. And I served with rice and homemade bread so.......I broke the carb rule straight away. That was for a dinner. ... For lunch the next day we both mixed all the ingredients up as the power bowl idea, except we mixed in the rice too. Great lunch. This is fairly quick and easy, transports well if you keep the dressing separate."

About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays (going since 2008) now has a format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches at any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up her in order to be included in the weekly round-up.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to it on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (optional).

 Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. I make a similar vegetable soup with pistou all the time, it's one of my favorites. Very true that the pistou takes this soup to a whole new level. Enjoy!

  2. I need more smoked paprika. I agree, it makes a difference in taste, love it. Maybe I can try and copycat this one from you without making a mess, LOL!

    Brought you a hybrid recipe this week - I think you'll laugh.


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