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By Chef de Cuisine
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Serves: 12
If they like it, it serves 12 otherwise  - thinking face emoji
Preparation time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Totaltime: 1 hour 30 minutes

The hearty Provencal soupe au pistou, or pistou soup is a wonderful rustic mediterranean soup full of fresh flavors of the South of France.
Borlotti beans:
A variety of kidney bean, this is a large plump bean that is pinkish-brown in color with reddish-brown streaks. Borlotti beans are widely used in Italian cooking and have a sweetish flavour with a smooth creamy texture. They work well in salads, soups and casseroles. The dried variety needs to be soaked in cold water before cooking.


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
    1 onion
    3 cloves of garlic
    3 medium leeks
    1 small fennel bulb
    3 carrots
    1 stick of celery
    3 courgettes
    2 sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley
    2 fresh bay leaves
    250 g baby green beans
    1 x 400 g tin of chopped tomatoes
    1 x 400 g tin of cannellini beans
    1 x 400 g tin of borlotti beans
    70 g small macaroni

    5 cloves of garlic
    6 sprigs of fresh basil
    60 g Parmesan cheese
    3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


  • Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic, then trim and slice the leek. Chip and chop the fennel, carrots, celery and courgettes, then pick and roughly chop the parsley leaves.
    Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and sauté the onion, garlic and leek for 5 minutes.
    Add the other chopped ingredients, the bay, green beans and chopped tomatoes. Drain and add the beans. Cover with water, season and simmer until the vegetables are tender.
    Add the pasta and simmer until cooked, adding water if the soup is too thick.
    For the pistou sauce, peel and add the garlic to a pestle and mortar, pick in the basil leaves and add some sea salt. Pound until puréed, then finely grate in the Parmesan and muddle in the extra virgin olive oil to make a paste.
    Serve the soup with a dollop of pistou.

    The pistou sauce can also be made in a food processor or blender,
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Pistou soup

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