Todays box has the makings for an end of summer soup. Caley and the crew harvested kale onions, leeks, kohlrabi (both red and green), potatoes, carrots, fennel, cabbage, cherry tomatoes and yummy strawberries that just won't quit.
One of my favorite soups from memory comes from the south of France; the village of Gordes to be exact. Its a soupe au pistou, and both refreshing and warming at the same time. Pistou is basil pesto that perfumes the soup at the very end and you can use your the leaves of your pesto plant!
Soupe au Pistou
This soup also invites invention. Cabbage can be added too and even kohlrabi
1 cup fresh shell beans (like cranberry or lima), soaked for a couple of hours in water to cover, or 1/2 cup dried beans, soaked overnight (or boiled for 2 minutes and soaked for 2 hours), drained or a can of beans....
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, trimmed and chopped ( can be made without)
2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
a few cherry tomatoes cut in half
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 to 2 cups fresh basil leaves, washed
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup small pasta like ditalini, or capellini broken into pieces
Freshly grated Parmesan to taste
Pour 2-3 tbs of olive oil in a heavy-based casserole or saucepan. Add the diced fennel, carrot and onion and a little salt and chili pepper and allow to gently soften without coloring. Add the potatoes and tomatoes to the pan.
Add the broth (chicken or vegetable) and allow it to reduce for about 15 minutes (taste it for seasoning and depth of flavor, boil vigorously if you want a stronger broth).
At the very end of cooking add the cooked shell beans, chopped parsley and cook 5-10 minutes then serve with pistou.
For the pistou, pound the garlic with a pinch of salt until well broken down then begin to add a few basil leaves and a splash of olive oil alternately, pounding as you go until you have a smooth paste. Add the rest of the oil and parmesan and check for seasoning. Then add it to a bowl of soup with toasted bread and butter.