Provençal-style bean and vegetable soup.
For the pistou:
1 garlic clove
1 large bunch of basil, stalk and leaves
30g grated parmesan
100-125ml olive oil
For the soup:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
200g small or mini new potatoes, cleaned and cut into quarters
200g carrots, peeled and finely chopped (or simply cleaned if small)
2 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
200g green or runner beans, topped and tailed and cut into 2cm pieces
2 courgettes, chopped into 2cm pieces
1 tin of cannellini or haricot beans, drained and rinsed
Start by making the pistou so that it has time to steep. Blitz the garlic, basil, parmesan and half of the oil in a food processor until chopped. Drizzle in the remaining oil until the pistou has loosened slightly in consistency but is still thick enough to dollop. Keep in a sterile jar until needed.
Prep and chop all your vegetables before you start cooking. In a large saucepan, heat the oil and sweat the onion and celery over a medium heat, stirring occasionally until soft. This will take around 10 mins. Add in the potatoes and carrots and a pinch of salt and continue to cook for a further 5 mins—you can use a lid on the pan to help sweat the vegetables and keep the flavour in.
After this time, add in the garlic, green or runner beans, courgette and drained beans. Add in enough water to cover the vegetables and beans, give everything a good stir and add another good pinch of salt. Leave to bubble, stirring occasionally, for around 15 mins or until the potatoes are cooked. Taste to check the seasoning, before serving in shallow bowls with a dollop of pistou on top and some warm gougères on the side.
Recipe: Beca Lyne-Pirkis