Vegetable Soup with Basil Pistou

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Anyone else missing snow? No? Living in New England, I am seriously disappointed that it has not snowed yet this winter. It hasn’t even been terribly cold, but nonetheless I’m craving cozy meals that are pretty easy to whip up. One of my favorite cold weather foods is soup. So many flavor options and it keeps very well. With the Holiday season behind us, I was in the mood for something warm and full of flavor, but not overly heavy. This soup was all of the above. Since it’s packed with veggies it’s hearty and satisfying. The basil pistou is a must for this recipe. Pistou is a cold sauce, very similar to pesto, but lacking the pine nuts. It’s perfect for soups, or even spread on a sandwich if you wanted to kick up your sandwich making game. The whole thing comes together fairly quickly. I made some modifications to the recipe which I felt helped round out the flavor a little better. Also, depending on the time of year you make the soup, you may opt for more fresh veggies vs, canned, though if you want to use canned or frozen here, I think it would work very well. The recipe here uses fresh veggies, but it would be easy to adjust.

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Vegetable Soup with Basil Pistou


For the pistou

  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1/3 cup evoo
  • 1 garlic clove smashed

For the soup

  • 1 tbsp evoo
  • 1 leek white and green parts only, halved lengthwise and sliced (wash well!)
  • 1 rib celery sliced
  • 1 carrot peeled and sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • dash of red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup pasta like ditalini
  • 8 oz. green beans trimmed and cut into ¼ inch pieces
  • 1 15 oz can of cannellini beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 small zucchini halved and slices
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomato in juice


  1. To make the pistou, combine the basil, Parmesan, oil, and garlic in the bowl of your food processor. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  2. To make the soup, heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add in the leeks, celery, carrot. Season with salt. Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir the broth and water into the mixture and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Stir in the pasta and cook until slightly softened, about 8-10 minutes – depending on the pasta you use. Stir in the green beans, cannellini beans, zucchini, and diced tomatoes, with their juice. Simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 6-8 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper. To serve, top each individual portion with a healthy spoonful of pistou.

Recipe Notes

Barely adapted from Everyday Annie


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