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Pesto Soup



1 1/2 cup Fresh Fava beans, she, washed well then drained and peeled
7 stems Leeks, white and pale green parts only, quartered lengthwise, sliced thin crosswise
1/2 cup Unsalted butter
1/2 cup Extra-virgin olive oil
5 pcs. Bay leaves
6 cloves Large garlic, minced
1 tbsp. Bouquet Garni, crumbled (made of fresh basil, parsley and sage 2 sprigs each)
1 tsp. Fennel seeds, crushed
1 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper
3 quarts Unseasoned chicken or vegetable stock
5 medium Carrots, trimmed, peeled, and cut in 1/4-inch dice
1/2 lb. medium Potatoes, peeled and cut in 1/4-inch dice (I recommend Yukon Gold are best to use)
2 medium Fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, and cut in and dice1/4-inch
two 3-inch Strip of orange zest, removed with a vegetable peeler
18 oz. can Italian peeled tomatoes, chopped
some Freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 cup Pistou (in mortar and pestle, crush the garlic until it become paste, then add basil leaves)

Put 2 tbsp. of butter and 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a large casserole or heavy saucepan over moderate heat.

Cook the leeks until golden brown but not burn- dark and stirring often for at least 30 minutes

Add bay leaves, garlic, bouquet garni, fennel seeds, pepper and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute.

Drain the beans and add to leek mixture and add the stock and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat quickly, and simmer and partially covered, for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until beans are tender.

While the beans mixture is under simmering, cook carrots, potato, fennel bulb, and orange zest in remaining butter.

The remaining of olive oil in a large, deep skillet over moderately high heat.

Stir often, until the vegetables begin to brown, about 15 minutes.

When beans are tender (test by tasting or cutting a bean), stir diced vegetables and tomatoes into soup.

Taste for seasoning and cook soup over moderate heat for 5 minutes then discard bay leaves.

Ladle soup into bowls and serve with Parmigiano-Reggiano and pistou sauce

Serve 10 people.

Useful hints and tips:

This soup can be like minestrone in French style, very popular around Nice, the southeast corner of France, and it feels the influence of Italy.

With so many pleasant dishes, there are almost numerous variations, this is a deep, burnished soup that stands up beautifully to basil & garlic paste called pistou in France.

Making and preparing this soup au pistou is often served as a meal in itself.

I suggest to use unseasoned stock so that salt doesn't stop the beans from cooking properly.



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Last modified: May 26, 2003