Vegetable Soup with Basil

Soupe au Pistou

Preparation info
  • Makes


    • Difficulty


    • Ready in

      1 hr

Appears in
The Best Recipes in the World: More Than 1,000 International Dishes to Cook at Home

By Mark Bittman

Published 2005

  • About

Pistou is a garlic-basil paste almost identical to pesto—the names in fact are the same, just in different dialects. In France it’s used less to dress pasta than to thicken soups while heightening their flavor. Pistou is usually passed at the table so your guests can add as much as they like.


  • cups fresh shell beans, preferably a combination of white, red, and black, or ½


  1. Place the beans, leeks, carrots, celery, and potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with 7 cups water. Bring to a boil and then simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Add the zucchini and 3 of the tomatoes and simmer for another 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, pound the garlic and basil in a mortar and pestle or process in a food processor until pasty. Add the r