Do you know what a French pistou soup is? It is a provençal soup of chunky vegetable with peas, green beans, potatoes, zucchini and a spoonful of freshly homemade French pesto…
This soup from Southern France is absolutely to die for!
There is a fair chance that you might have heard of pistou soup already.
Perhaps you have tried or even prepared it before?
Pistou vs. Pesto
Let me help you a little along the way then.
Pistou is a French version of a basil pesto, but without the traditional pine nuts.
Those sound very similar anyway.
And also contain more or less the same ingredients.
With a few exceptions.
Easy Pistou Soup (French Vegetable Soup with Pesto)
You can of course make pistou from scratch.
However I always tend to add some of my frozen basil pesto to this soup. I always keep batches of frozen pesto in my freezer. Quite often I buy a bunch of fresh basil that I use up.
Hence the idea to make pesto and freeze it in small portions for later use. And it is just perfect for this pistou soup!
Other fresh pistou recipes might ask for fresh parsley instead of the classic basil, it all depends sometimes who is making it. I have even come across pistou versions with almond and pistachios.
So that is part one of the soup. Second part is a simple vegetable broth soup.
A bunch of colorful (diced) minestrone vegetables such as fresh carrots, celery, zucchini, potatoes, green peas, green beans and such are just perfect for this soup.
Because this colorful vegetable mix goes into it, this pistou soup is also a great and nutritious lunch soup! I always serve it with some grilled bread on the side.
Do you love chunky and flavorful vegetable soups like this pistou?
Then you should also take a look at my chunky Italian style pasta and bean soup! Also known as pasta e fagioli or pasta fazool in America.
Easy French Pistou Soup (Vegetable Soup with Pesto)
- 3,5 oz green beans (100 g), chopped
- 3,5 oz frozen green peas (100 g)
- 1 small fresh carrot diced
- 3,5 oz potatoes (100 g), diced
- 2- inch fresh zucchini (5 cm piece), diced
- 2 tbsp onion chopped
- 1 large garlic clove chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cups vegetable stock (960 ml)
- 8 strands dry spaghetti broken into small bits
- 4 tbsp basil pesto (homemade)
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- olive oil
1. Pour a little olive oil in a large saucepan. Then add the chopped red onion, the bay leaves and the garlic and place it over medium heat.
2. Gently fry the onion for 3 minutes until a little soft. Also add the diced potato.
3. Stir and fry the potato for 3 minutes. Then pour in the vegetable stock and cook the potatoes for 5 minutes. Also add the green beans, the carrots, the broken spaghetti and the tomato paste.
4. Stir well and bring the soup to a good simmer. Cook the vegetables for 3 minutes. Then add the chopped zucchini and the frozen peas. Season with soup with a pinch of pepper and salt.
5. Cook the soup for another 2 to 3 minutes. Then green beans should still be a little crunchy, the peas thawed and tender. Stir in the basil pesto.
6. Check the seasoning of the soup and add extra salt or pepper to taste if necessary. Divide the soup over deep plates. Serve hot.
Who invented the French soupe au pistou?
French soupe au pistou is believed to have originated in the Provençal region of France in the 19th century.
It is believed that the soup was created by the fishermen of the region as a way to make use of the abundance of vegetables and herbs growing in the region.
The name of the soup is derived from the Provençal word “pistou”, which means “to pound”, in reference to the way the pesto–like sauce is made.
Is pistou the same as pesto?
No, French pistou and Italian pesto are not the same.
Pistou is a sauce made from garlic, basil and olive oil, while pesto is typically made from basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and olive oil.
It is used as a topping for soups and other dishes, while pesto is often used as a spread or sauce for pasta or other dishes.
Are there local versions of the soupe au pistou?
Yes, there are local versions of the soupe au pistou.
Depending on the region, different ingredients may be added to the soup.
For example, in the south of France, some versions of the soup may include mushrooms, while in the north, potatoes may be added.
In some parts of Switzerland, pistou soup can contain beef, while in the Piedmont region of Italy, it may include ricotta cheese.