Showing posts with label basil pesto. Show all posts
Showing posts with label basil pesto. Show all posts

Thursday, September 29, 2016

French Vegetable Soup with Pistou #recipe @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: This recipe is based on one from the fabulous David Lebovitz's newsletter. If you like reading about Paris and French food, I recommend you subscribe. He was a chef at Alice Water's restaurant Chez Panisse in Berkeley, but many years ago moved to Paris and is excellent at translating French ways to Americans.

Lucy with Notre Dame Gargoyles

I remember eating a soup like this when I was a student in the 1970s in France and terribly homesick. A French family used to invite my roommate and me to Sunday dinner every week because they knew we were lonely for home--wasn't that sweet? The mom would sometimes serve this soup so making it brought back some fun memories. John says I'd choose France for every vacation if I could--he's not far off! Anyway, back to soup...

I veered quite a bit from David's recipe and you can move back to his or further away from both of ours – the recipe is very flexible. It's good for someone on a low sodium diet, because the pistou (essentially pesto without the nuts) packs a big flavor punch. I used the vegetables that I either had in the garden or saw at the weekly farmers market. But you could also add potatoes, tomatoes, celery...

Ingredients for the soup

Two medium zucchini
2 to 3 leeks, well washed
Carrots, either three large or five or six smaller
Green beans
3 to 4 cloves garlic
1 cup dried white beans (I used Navy)
1 32 ounce box low sodium chicken broth
Handful of small pasta, if you like
Chopped tomatoes if you like
2 sprigs thyme (which I forgot, darn it!

The day before you plan to make the soup, soak the white beans overnight in water. Rinse them, and then cover them with water in a large pot and simmer until soft with two bay leaves. (This could take an hour or so.) When the beans are soft, add the chicken broth to the pot and keep simmering.

Chop the leeks. Chop the green beans into bite-size pieces. Chop the zucchini likewise. Chop the garlic cloves. I used my food processor to chop the carrots, and didn't even rinse it before starting the pistou. And that explains the little flecks of orange you will see later.

In a large frying pan, heat some good olive oil and sauté the leeks, the garlic, carrots, onion, zucchini and saute until soft. Add the green beans and sautéed them a bit too. Scrape this mixture into the bean pot and simmer everything until soft, about 20-30 minutes. You may if you wish add a handful of pasta at the end, but you may have to add more liquid too.

For the pistou

One clove garlic
One small bunch basil, cleaned and leaves removed (my favorite veggie guy at the market had Thai basil so that's what I tried)
1/4 cup good olive oil
About an ounce Parmesan cheese

Chop the garlic in the food processor, then add the olive oil. Add the Parmesan cheese in smaller pieces and chop that in. Finally add the basil and pulse until everything is combined.


Serve the bowls of soup with a heaping tablespoon of the basil mixture dropped in the center. Then each diner can stir his or her pistou/pesto into the soup. Or pass the pistou in a separate bowl if you have concerned eaters...

Lucy writes the Key West food critic mysteries.  Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Basil Pesto ala Italia, #recipe from @DarylWoodGerber

From Daryl aka Avery:

CONGRATS to all the winners of our 5th anniversary photo contest!  What a great job everyone did submitting photos of their adorable pets, fun libraries, quirky adventures, and delightful bookstores! Next time...kitchens and reading rooms, right! So many categories, so little time.

Speaking of adventure...

A few weeks back, my husband and I were lucky enough to take a dream vacation and cruise from Venice, Italy around the boot to Rome. On the trip, we stopped in Taurmina, Sicily and dined on some of the best pasta with pesto sauce I'd ever tasted. We had found a darling, hole-in-the-wall restaurant, recommended by the cruise director. It was off the beaten path. The wine list was extensive and delicious. And the owner fully understood my gluten-free issue. Wow! Did I mention the gluten-free pasta was divine?

Anyway, I had such a craving for a great pasta dish when I came home, I had to attempt to make the pesto. It was sooooo good.

And, well, (polishing my fingernails on my shirt front), I did!!

This is the simplest, easiest...did I mention simplest?...recipe imaginable.

Cook up some pasta, prepare a side salad, and get ready to feast.



2 cups fresh basil leaves, trimmed
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 – 2 teaspoons salt
1 – 2 teaspoons ground black pepper


In a food processor, combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. 

Add the oil and pulse again, until fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.

We had some meatballs left over from the night before and I added them to this, if you want a little protein in the meal. Enjoy!

* * *

For STIRRING THE PLOT, which comes out September 30th, I'm going to be doing a number of giveaways, starting in August. Books, mugs, stuffed kittens!  Make sure you're signed up for my newsletter and "like" me on Facebook, where information about the giveaways will appear.  Look for pictures of Tigger, the ginger cat in the series, celebrating ala Halloween!


Friend Daryl on Facebook
Friend Avery on Facebook
Follow Daryl on Twitter
Follow Avery on Twitter
Follow both of us on Pinterest
Check out our website.

Days of Wine and Roquefort 
is out!
order here

Inherit the Word
  is out!
                                    order here

STIRRING THE PLOT is available for preorder: order here.

If you haven't done so, sign up for the mailing list 
so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests!