Soupe au Pistou pronounced "soup-oh-pea-stoo" is a traditional vegetable soup from the South of France. Filled with many vegetables and a little bit of pasta, this unique tasting soup is so incredibly delicious, full of amazing flavors! Pistou is similar to a nut-free pesto, so if you love garlic and basil, you'll love this recipe!
You'll Love This Recipe
- Soupe au pistou is filled with fresh and flavorful vegetables! While it's great for every season, traditionally this soup is served at the end of the summer to use up all your fresh produce from the garden, like tomatoes, beans, zucchini and fresh basil. It's completely vegetarian, full of texture and flavor.
- Pistou is pretty much a nut-free pesto. It's made with garlic, plenty of fresh basil, olive oil and freshly grated parmesan. It adds such a unique flavor to this soup, every time I make this recipe, the first bite brings me right back to France. This recipe is so incredibly delicious!
- This soup is filling and nutritious providing a range of vitamins and minerals. It's also a satisfying lower calorie recipe. You get many vegetables, a legume filled with fiber and protein, a little pasta for a starchy carbohydrate, and olive oil as a healthy fat.
- It's customizable and great for meal-prep! While specific veggies are present in the traditional Provençal soup, you can absolutely use any vegetables to your liking. And it stores really well, making it a great meal-prep option for a quick lunch or dinner.
For the Pistou:
- Fresh basil: you'll need a bunch of fragrant basil to make the pistou which gives the soup its unique taste.
- Olive-oil: try to use a good quality extra-virgin olive oil for this recipe as it's another important ingredient for the pistou.
- Garlic: lots of garlic cloves, cause garlic makes everything better.
- Freshly grated parmesan: if possible use a good quality parmesan, ideally Parmigiano Reggiano which is traditionally imported from Italy, and so flavorful.
- I reserve a little bit of the crushed tomatoes for the soup to put in the pistou, it helps making the blending easier.
For the soup:
- White beans: traditionally fresh white beans are cooked in the soup. To make this recipe easier, I use canned cannellini beans (you can use great northern too) and it works great.
- Carrots: I find carrots essential for this soup, it adds such great texture.
- Green beans: they're traditional in soupe au pistou.
- All the veggies: while you can absolutely customize it, I used onion, leek, celery, zucchini, crushed tomatoes and potatoes in addition to the others listed above.
- Vegetable broth: you need a lot of liquid for this soup, about 8 cups. If you prefer chicken broth, it'll work too.
- Pasta: this soup always has some kind of pasta. You can use any shape, I like macaroni or cut up spaghetti but whatever shape you prefer will work. You don't need too much pasta, a little bit goes a long way.
How To Make Soupe Au Pistou
- The first step require a little work: chopping all the fresh vegetables. But I promise you, it'll be worth it!
- You'll need a large pot with a lid for this recipe, such as a dutch oven.
- Start by sautéeing the onion, leek, celery and carrots for a few minutes. Make sure to season them with salt and black pepper, and fresh thyme.
- Once the veggies are a little cooked down and developing flavor, add the broth and crushed tomatoes. Bring to a low boil, then simmer covered for about 15 minutes.
- Then you'll add the green beans and continue cooking the soup for 10 minutes.
- Then the potato, zucchini and cannellini go in and cook for another 8-10 minutes.
- The pasta goes in last and cook until tender.
- While the soup is cooking, add all the pistou ingredients into a blender or food processor and pulse until combined.
- Once the pasta is cooked, add some pistou to the soup and mix it in. Serve with extra fresh parmesan.
After sautéeing onion, leek, celery and carrots, add broth, crushed tomatoes and simmer for 15 minutes.
Then add the green beans and continue cooking.
Add basil, garlic, olive oil, crushed tomatoes and parmesan to blender or processor and pulse.
Put pistou aside.
Add potatoes, zucchini, beans and cook for 8-10 minutes. Then add pasta and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until tender.
Add some pistou to the soup, mix it in and serve.
More Delicious Recipes To Try
- Hachis Parmentier (French Cottage Pie)
- Butternut Squash Leek Soup
- Celery Root Remoulade
- Roasted Carrots and Asparagus
Tips And Frequently Asked Questions
- It's very important to follow the order the veggies get cooked. Their cooking time varies so to make sure nothing is too overcooked or mushy, they need to be added in stages.
- This recipe makes a big pot of soup. If you feel like you need more liquid, add a little water or more stock.
- Make your own pistou ideally, but if you're really in a pinch, store-bought pesto is similar tasting and would work. Traditionally pesto contains pine nuts while pistou is nut-free.
- I don't give exact measurements for salt and pepper for this soup recipe, because it would vary per taste and how much veggies you add in. Season to taste, and try the soup before serving to see if it needs more.
- Store any leftover soup in an airtight container refrigerated for up to 5 days.
- The pasta can soak up a lot of the broth, so you might need to add a little water before reheating the soup. Ideally reheat on the stove but the microwave will work too.
Soupe Au Pistou
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ yellow onion finely chopped, about ½ cup
- 1 medium leek finely chopped, about ½ cup. White part only.
- 2 stalks celery finely chopped, about ½ cup
- 2 carrots sliced or chopped, about 1 cup
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme chopped
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 8 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
- 1 15.5 oz can crushed tomatoes divided: reserve 3 tablespoons of it to make pistou
- 1-2 bay leaf dried
- 1 cup green beans chopped into 1" pieces
- 1 potato chopped into bite size pieces, about 1 cup
- 1 15.5 oz can cannellini beans or great northern beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 zucchini chopped into bite size pieces, about 1 cup
- ⅓ cup pasta uncooked, macaroni or any of choice
- In large pot, heat up olive oil over medium high heat. Once hot, add chopped onion, leek, celery and carrots. Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper and chopped thyme, cook for about 6 minutes, stirring often with wooden spoon.
- Once the veggies are cooked down a bit, add broth and crushed tomatoes (don't forget to save 3 tablespoons for the pistou) and bay leaf to the pot. Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to medium to medium-low, add lid to pot and simmer for about 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, add green beans, cover pot and cook for about 10 minutes.
- Then add chopped potatoes, zucchini, the can of cannellini beans. Cover and let simmer on medium-low for another 8-10 minutes.
- Then add uncooked pasta, leave the lid off and cook until cooked, about 10 to 15 minutes or until fully tender.
- While soup continues cooking, prepare the pistou (nut-free pesto). In blender or food processor, add olive oil, garlic cloves, 3 tablespoons of reserved tomatoes from can, basil and parmesan and pulse until all combined. *You can add a little more oil if necessary or a tablespoon of the soup broth if not blending well..
- Once pasta is fully cooked, add 3 tablespoons of pistou to soup, and mix it in. Adjust salt and pepper. Remove soup from heat, serve in bowls, you can add a little more pistou to taste, and sprinkle with fresh grated parmesan. Enjoy!
- Pistou: if you want a shortcut, you could use pre-made pesto instead of making the pistou from scratch. They're not exactly the same but very similar in taste.
- Pasta: Don't put too much pasta or they'll absorb all the broth. You can use gluten-free pasta if you wish.
- If soup feels too thick, add a little water or more broth.