It is definitely soup weather here in Sussex. Despite being unseasonably warm the sight of trees turning red and gold always makes me yearn for the fireside and soup.
Here is one that actually is great for summer as well and freezes well. A classic French soup, this recipe comes from Recipes From An Unknown Kitchen book of the month in Refried Book Shop.
Pistou, the Provençal cousin of pesto, is stirred into this summer vegetable soup just before serving. Pistou, made from cloves of garlic, fresh basil and olive oil. The basics are the potato, courgettes and beans but this is one of those soups that can vary as much as you like in terms of the vegetables used. Broken spaghetti, rice or bread is sometimes added as well. Try it out and then make it your own.
Soupe Au Pistou
1.5 litre water
1 tablespoon of olive oil
200g white haricot beans (a tin would be fine)
100g green beans
Salt & pepper
4 crushed cloves garlic
4 cups basil
1 cup grated parmesan
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 plum tomato, cored
Make the pistou: Process basil, parmesan, olive oil, salt, garlic, and tomato in a food processor until finely ground or in a pestle if you are feeling energetic. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
Prepare the vegetables – chop the potatoes, courgettes, aubergine into cubes, roughly chop the onions and chop the green beans into 1 cm pieces. Fry the onions in the oil then add the rest of the vegetables and cook for 5 minutes. Add the water, all the fresh vegetables then season well. Cook for around 15 – 20 minutes. Add the white haricot beans and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Add the pistou sauce and stir gently then taste and season again. With good bread this is delicious.