French pistou soup is a summer vegetable soup enhanced with a pesto-like paste. Maybe it’s influence is Italian or maybe everybody just gets around to doing the same thing with the same ingredients, more or less. Jet-lagged.
Anyway, I wanted to make pistou soup and I wanted to put meatballs in it, so I did.
Jade made the meatballs.
I found some sexy Romano beans in the market and had some random vegetables on hand.
Make the pistou first, so that it can sit around for a while, enhancing. I like to put the finished soup in bowls and then add a dollop of pistou to it just before serving, releasing a fragrant aroma of basil and garlic. But you can just add it to the pot after the soup has finished cooking and be done with it.
Pistou Soup with Meatballs
1 cup of basil leaves
6 garlic cloves
2 tbsp grated parmesan
1 lb ground meat
1/2 cup bread crumbs
Salt and pepper
1 large leek, thinly sliced
2 carrots, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
4 tomatoes, diced
2 large potatoes, coarsely diced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 bay leaf
3 quarts water
1 cup of cooked white beans, like cannellini
3 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
3/4 lb romano green beans, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup of spaghettini, broken into small pieces
In the food processor or blender or mortar and pestle, make a thick paste with the basil leaves, garlic and olive oil. Add the parmesan cheese and set aside.
Form small meatballs with the ground beef, bread crumbs, eggs, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Saute the leek, garlic cloves and carrots in the olive oil until the leek slices are wilted. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, tomato paste, bay leaf, water, bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the meatballs and continue to simmer for about 20 minutes. Finally, add the white beans, zucchini, green beans and the spaghettini, cooking until the green beans are crisp tender.
Either add the pistou directly to the cooked soup or add a dollop to each bowl. Serve with shaved parmesan.
Wine suggestion: Brouilly