Thursday, August 21, 2014

Summer Vegetable Soup with Parsley Pesto

I have some really great news! My second cookbook, The Summer Kitchen, is almost done! It is being proof read and then it will be available on Amazon in print and kindle formats. Isn't that exciting?

In the meantime, I made a delicious summer vegetable soup that is very similar to Soupe au Pistou, a rustic Provencal soup that has a French version of pesto (they call it pistou) dolloped on top. I had a few extra tomatoes and zucchini from my cookbook photos, and I had seen this soup while browsing through a cookbook so I knew I had to make it!

My version of this soup has lots of vegetables, including zucchini, tomatoes, green beans, white beans, carrots, celery, onions, garlic and corn. For the pistou part of the soup, I blended together garlic, parsley and the leaves from the celery stalks with some olive oil to create a paste.  The celery leaves taste a bit like apples, which gives an extra dimension of flavor. The paste was delicious in the soup, but was also delicious smeared on some sourdough bread and placed under the broiler for a few minutes. It was so yummy I had a second bowl!

Summer Vegetable Soup with Parsley Pesto
serves 4

1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped, leaves reserved
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp salt
4 c. chicken or vegetable stock
1 zucchini, chopped
1 c. green beans, frozen
1 c. corn kernels, frozen
14 oz can white beans, drained and rinsed

2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 handful parsley leaves
celery leaves from above
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 c. olive oil

In a large stock pot, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat. Cook onion, garlic, carrot and celery pieces for 5 minutes or until soft. Add tomatoes, salt, and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, then add zucchini, beans and corn. Cook for another 10 minutes, adding beans during last 2 minutes. Turn heat to low and set aside while making pesto.

To make pesto, combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until a paste forms. Ladle soup into 4 bowls, then spoon a dollop of pesto on top of each. Serve with crunchy bread.

Like this recipe? Check out my cookbook, The Spring Kitchen, available on Amazon in print and kindle formats.

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