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    Soupe au Pistou

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    Soupe au Pistou

    • Preparation time: 20 minutes
    • Cooking time: 30 minutes
    • Total time: 50 minutes 50 minutes

    Serves: 6 - 8


    • 175g tinned flageolet beans, rinsed and drained
    • Sprigs of parsley, thyme and a bay leaf, tied in a bunch
    • A few peppercorns, roughly crushed
    • Sea salt
    • 1 sprig lovage or 2-3 celery stalks , finely chopped
    • 3-4 young leeks, trimmed and finely sliced
    • 4-5 young carrots, diced
    • 225g new potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 2cm dice
    • 75g podded peas or baby broad beans, slipped out of their skins
    • 3-4 stalks Swiss chard or pak choi, shredded
    • 4 handfuls peppery salad leaves, such as rocket or mustard greens, shredded
    • Pistou
    • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tsp coarse salt
    • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
    • 1 green chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped (optional)
    • 2 generous handfuls basil leaves
    • To serve
    • More extra virgin olive oil
    • 4 slices country bread (optional)


    1. Put the beans into a roomy pot with the bunch of herbs, 1.5 litres of cold water, the pepper, and salt to taste. Bring to the boil, add the lovage or celery, leeks, carrots and potatoes, and bring back to the boil. Bubble for 10 minutes, then stir in the peas or beans, and chard or pak choi. Return to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender.
    2. Meanwhile, make the pistou by blending all the ingredients to a purée in a food processor.
    3. Add the peppery greens to the soup, return the broth to the boil, stir in the pistou and bubble up for a moment to allow the oil and the broth to form a light emulsion. If this doesn't happen first time, drop the heat and bubble up again. Check the seasoning.
    4. Remove the bunch of herbs, and ladle into bowls, with or without a slice of country bread in the bottom. Hand extra olive oil separately to drizzle over the soup.

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