Adapted from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/pistou_soup_99507
The French and Italians both claim this wholesome and delicious peasant soup as their own. Raymond Blanc shows you how to make his version.
- For the pesto
For the soup
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ medium onion, chopped into 1cm/½in dice
- 1 medium carrot, chopped into 1cm/½in dice
- ½ celery stalk, chopped into 1cm/½in slices
- 1 small courgette, chopped into 1cm/½in dice
- ½ small bulb fennel, chopped into 1cm/½in dice
- 1 tsp sea salt
- pinch freshly ground black pepper
- 700ml/1¼ pints boiling water
- 4 tbsp fresh peas (optional)
- 120g/4½oz broad beans (optional)
- 1 medium tomato, skin on and diced
To finish the dish
- For the pesto, blanch the basil in boiling water for a few seconds, then refresh in cold water and drain. (This prevents the basil discolouring.)
- Blend the basil and remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender to a paste.
- Spoon the pesto in into a jar, cover and chill in the fridge.
- For the soup, heat the oil in a large pan and gently fry the onion, carrot, celery, courgette and fennel for three minutes
- Season with the salt and freshly ground black pepper, then add the boiling water, peas and broad beans and boil rapidly for 3-4 minutes. (Using boiling water minimises the cooking time so preserving the vivid colours, fresh taste, textures and nutrients of the vegetables.)
- During the last minute of cooking, add the tomato, pesto and grated parmesan.
- Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve in a warmed tureen with the croutons and extra grated parmesan alongside.