White Bean and Vegetable with Pistou Recipe

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The Blender Girl Super-Easy, Super-Healthy MealsNo, not all of my soups are blended! This chunky dish is a prime example of how a basic pistou (as the French call it) can take simple to spectacular. It’s my partner, Scott’s, favorite meal, so to keep things interesting, I vary the vegetable-and-bean blend, the pistou, or both. (Sundried tomato and macadamia pistou is delightful.) This soup freezes well if you freeze the soup and pistou separately and without the additional lemon juice. You can easily make pistou in a food processor, but I use a blender because it provides smooth texture with no chunky bits.

I keep the flavors of the soup itself pretty mild so the pistou really shines. The pistou tastes great without the miso if you can’t find it, but this addition gives it a rich and cheesy taste that is downright incredible. Once you stir the pistou into your soup, you’ll be transported. The soup and pistou are meant to be served together, but for people who don’t like pistou, I omit it, increase the quantity of herbs and seasonings in the soup, and add a bit more pasta.

  • Yield: 8 Servings as a starter, 6 as a main; the pistou makes 1¾ cups (420 g)

Ingredients

Soup
Pistou
  • 0.33 cup (80 ml) cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups (340 g) fresh or frozen green peas
  • ½ cup (70 g) sliced or blanched slivered raw almonds or toasted pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 1 clove)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon natural salt, plus more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 0.12 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon white miso paste (optional, but it makes the pistou incredible)
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges and seeded
How to Make It
  1. To make the soup, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and ⅛ teaspoon of pepper and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent. Stir in the celery, carrot, and potatoes and sauté for 5 minutes more. Stir in the rosemary and thyme. Add the zucchini, green beans, broth, chickpeas, cannellini beans, and pasta. Increase the heat to high, bring the soup to a boil, and cook for 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-high and cook at a lively simmer for 10 to 15 minutes more, until the pasta is al dente. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the parsley and green onions, and simmer slowly for 5 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. To make the pistou, throw all of the ingredients into your blender and blast on high for 30 to 60 seconds, until smooth and well combined. Tweak flavors to taste (you might want more salt).
  3. To serve, put a couple of tablespoons of pistou on the bottom of each bowl and ladle the soup over the top. Pass the lemon wedges and the remaining pistou at the table.
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