[ Recipe: Soup au Pistou ] ~ from Monterey Bay Herb Co
soup au pistou

This traditional soup hails from Provence, a region of southeastern France abundant in fields of lavender, wineries and olive groves, and is an example of why you should never discard the rind from a wedge of Parmesan cheese! Note: Even though this is a weekday version on the classic, don’t substitute prepared pesto in this recipe.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 anchovy fillets
1 wedge of Parmesan rind (or ¼ cup shaved parmesan)
2 leeks (white and green part only), washed and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 small yellow squash, sliced into 1-inch rounds
1 small zucchini, sliced into 1-inch rounds
1 can San Marzano tomatoes
Salt and pepper
6 cups vegetable broth
2 cans Great Northern beans, drained

1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
2 cloves peeled garlic
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven until shimmering. Add anchovies and cook until dissolved while stirring. Add leek slices and cook until softened. Add the shallots, garlic, squash, zucchini and cook another 3-4 minutes, or until vegetables soften. Season with salt and pepper.

Stir in tomatoes and broth. Add Parmesan rind (or shaved Parmesan). Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through. If using rind, remove from soup after simmering. Meanwhile, make the pistou.

For the Pistou: Place basil leaves, garlic, Parmesan cheese, olive oil and salt and pepper in a food processor. Process until a thin paste forms.

Divide soup among bowls. Top with a drizzle of pistou and additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.

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