Days are shorter, the doona and the heater are out (how I miss central heating!) and I have a formidable urge to hibernate for a few months. The hibernating urge usually comes with a craving for hearty, comforting food and for that, there’s nothing like a nice “sousoupe” (we like double syllables in France for some reason!)
The soup I am making today originates from Provence and is composed of lots of veggies and Provence’s own version of pesto: Pistou. So if you like garlic, basil, Parmesan cheese and are not adverse to chunky soups, this one is for you!
Armed with my loyal companion, the Complete Recipes of Joel Robuchon, I start peeling, chopping and grating away: a lot of good things go into this!
– 1 x Leek
– 1 x Carrot
– 1 x Onion
– 1 x Celery stick
– 200g x fresh Green Beans
– 1 x Zucchini
– 2 x Tomatoes (I used whole peeled tomatoes this time but fresh ones are better)
– 1 x Potato
– 200g x Borlotti beans soaked overnight (the recipe says White beans, but I thought the Borlotti were prettier)
– 50g x Spaghetti (broken into small bits, otherwise it’s difficult to eat and can cause a lot of stains)
Chopped carrots, zucchinis and beans, ones of many components of Pistou soup.
I first “sweat” the onion and the leek in a big pot on medium heat with a table spoon of olive oil, then 3 minutes later, the carrot/celery/tomato/potato dices and borlotti beans .
I add 1 litre of water and a teaspoon of coarse salt, bring it to the boil and try to skim the foam from the surface. Simmer gently for 10 minutes.
I then add the zucchini, green beans and broken bits of spaghetti and let it simmer for 10 more minutes.
Meanwhile I get started on the pistou, for which you need:
– 4 cloves of degermed garlic (according to Robuchon, the germ is bad for digestion)
– 20 leaves of fresh Basil
– 100g grated Parmesan cheese
– 150ml Olive oil
Blend all the above ingredients into a puree. Stir in half of the puree into the soup. Season with pepper.
Spread the rest of the pistou on the croutons or in the soup, according to taste and enjoy!
Maybe not the best looking soup, but pretty darn comforting!
(Sorry about the very average croutons! I never seem to make good croutons unfortunately…)
What about you guys, what is your favourite soup to get you through winter? 🙂