Vegetable Soup with Sweet Basil

2015-02-21
  • Yield : 6 servings
  • Prep Time : 15m
  • Cook Time : 45m
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Ingredients

  • 2 small leeks, white part only
  • 1 large potato, peeled
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 12 green beans
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 gallon chicken stock (or 1/2 gallon water, 4 bouillon cubes, a pinch of thyme, and 1/2 bay leaf)
  • 6 ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded
  • 4 medium garlic cloves
  • 30 fresh basil leaves, washed and dried
  • Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Method

Step 1

Cut the leeks, potato, onion, celery, zucchini, green beans, and carrots into 1/4-inch dice.

Step 2

In a 6-quart stockpot, combine 3 tablespoons of the olive oil with the water. Add the vegetables and saute over medium-low heat until all the water evaporates. Do not brown the vegetables.

Step 3

Add the stock and bring to a boil. Cook at a gentle boil for 30 minutes.

Step 4

Meanwhile, in a food processor fitted with the metal blade, put the tomatoes, basil, garlic, and remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Pulse until pureed.

Step 5

Stir the puree into the cooked soup. Do not let the soup return to a boil. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve the soup hot or cold from a tureen or in individual bowls.

Step 6

Cook's Note: My mother uses only water, because her vegetables are peak-of-season, just-picked, and therefore full of flavor; but you can use stock if you like. Pistou, the puree of tomatoes, basil, garlic, and olive oil in this recipe, is a traditional French condiment that adds a burst of flavor just before serving.

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