Pistou (French Pesto and Vegetable) Soup

    1 hour 30 minutes

    My mum brought this recipe back from a cooking class in Provence. Pistou is the French word for pesto. This is a wonderful tasting fresh vegetable soup. We've made it 3 times already! It is so easy, healthy, filling, and delicious (better the next day). Can be served as a dinner meal with some crusty bread and wine.

    18 people made this

    Serves: 10 

    • 3L liquid vegetable stock
    • 2 cups (500ml) water
    • 2 cups fresh green beans - rinsed, trimmed, and snapped into bite-size pieces
    • 4 zucchinis, cut into small cubes
    • 3 carrots, cut into bite size pieces
    • 4 potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
    • 1 bunch basil, leaves picked from stems
    • 10 cloves garlic, minced
    • 3 tomatoes, chopped
    • 1/2 cup (125ml) olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 (420g) tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1 (400g) tin white beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1 (400g) tin diced tomatoes
    • 250g spaghetti, broken into 5cm pieces
    • 1/2 cup (60g) grated Gruyere cheese
    • 1/2 cup (60g) grated Parmesan cheese

    Preparation:30min  ›  Cook:1hour  ›  Ready in:1hour30min 

    1. Bring the vegetable stock and water to a boil in a large pot. Stir in the green beans, zucchini, carrots and potatoes. Return to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 45 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, prepare the pistou by processing the basil leaves, garlic, tomatoes, olive oil and salt together in a food processor until finely chopped; set aside.
    3. Stir the kidney beans, white beans, tinned diced tomatoes and spaghetti into the soup and return to a simmer. Cook until the spaghetti is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the pistou. Sprinkle with Gruyere cheese and Parmesan cheese to serve.

    Gruyere Cheese

    Gruyere is a type of Swiss cheese. Possible substitutes are Comte and Beaufort (French Gruyeres), or Swiss, Emmentaler or even Jarlsberg cheese.

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    Reviews in English (19)


    A great, hearty, healthy & low-fat soup for a chilly Fall night. Definitely add the zucchini and green beans (I added sliced baby portobello mushrooms also) toward the END of cooking time, not at the beginning, or they'll be mush. I used tiny elbow macaroni instead of broken spaghetti, and cooked it separately before adding to the pot. The tomato-basil pistou definitely makes this soup (and sidenote: try dunking some bread in the pistou before you add it all to the soup...mmm!). On it's own, it's just an ordinary (bit bland) veggie/bean soup but the pistou gives it a great flavour punch. Served with some shavings of a good parm reggiano, crusty bread, and a decent chardonnay, this is a very warming and satisfying meal. Looking forward to taking leftovers for lunch at work this week! (makes a big pot)  -  28 Sep 2009  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    After spending quite some time cubing veggies, I found them to be mushy after the 45 min simmering time....and I even simmered on low, not med-low as the recipe suggested. It just stunk that I had mush before even reaching steps 2 and 3. I hope the end result is tasty enough for me to want to try again, only this time with my alterations such as adding the zucchini after the green beans, potatoes, and carrots.  -  23 Sep 2009  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    Very yummy with a few changes. Simmer veggies minus the zucchini on low for 30 min. Add zucchini when you add the noodles. I also added swiss chard because I had it and used wheat spiral noodles again because that is what I had. Also added browned ground turkey. Important thing with soup is to use a good quality stock. My 6 yr old who every evening looks at dinner and says, "YUCKY" ate a good size bowl of this and enjoyed it. I like to cook things from all over the world and my kids and I look up on the globe where the recipe is from. Thanks for a yummy french recipe.  -  24 Sep 2009  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)