Provençal Soupe Au Pistou

Despite being so simple, this Provençal Soup will awaken your senses!  The aroma will fill your kitchen with joy and make your taste buds dance!  Although this is “peasant food” in the French countryside, it is jam-packed with so much flavor that you will surely make it time and time again….




For Soup:

  • 3 quarts water
  • 2 cups red kidney beans
  • 2 cups chopped green beans
  • 2 cups diced carrots
  • 2 cups sliced leeks
  • 2 cups diced potatoes
  • 1/4 cup Broken spaghetti noodles
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

For Pistou:

  • 5 cloves mashed garlic
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Tomato Paste
  • Basil
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste



  1. Stage 1: Bring the carrots, potatoes and leeks to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper
  2. Stage 2: Now add the green beans, spaghetti, the red kidney beans (and the pistou see below) and continue to cook for another 15 minutes until the green beans are cooked but not soggy and sad…you want them to have some bite

Pistou (Can be prepared ahead of time)

Prepare the pistou as the soup is cooking in the first stage. I went the old school way and worked hard for this…its a labor of love and its a hand-mashed pesto. If you want to save time you can certainly do a coarse blend in a blender (but, contrary to a particular lazy persons belief, it’s not the same)

  1. Using a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic, basil, tomato paste and parmigiano to form a paste
  2. Add EVOO and mash until slightly incorporated
  3. Add the pistou to the cooked soup, and let simmer for abour 10 minutes



  1. Serve topped with some grated Emmental or Gruyere and some nice bread on the side to soak up all that lovely sauce…bon appetit!




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