Provencal vegetable soup

  • Preparation Time20 mins
  • Cooking Time60 mins
  • Serves6
  • DifficultyEasy

For the soup

2 tablespoons good olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2-4 leeks, chopped
450g unpeeled boiling potatoes, 1/2-inch diced
450g carrots, 1/2-inch diced
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3.4l homemade chicken stock or canned broth
1 teaspoon saffron threads
250g green beans, ends removed and cut in 1/2
115g spaghetti, broken in pieces
Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving

For the Pistou

4 large garlic cloves
60ml tomato puree
24 large basil leaves
50g parmesan, grated
120ml extra virgin olive oil
For the soup: 1) Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot or saucepan, add the onions and saute over a low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.

2) Add the leeks, potatoes, carrots, salt and pepper and saute over medium heat for another 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and saffron, bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender.

3) Add the green beans and spaghetti, bring to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes more.

For the pistou:
1) Place the garlic, tomato puree, basil and parmesan in the bowl of a food processor and puree.

2) With the motor running, slowly pour the olive oil down the feed tube to make a paste. To store, pack into a container, pour a film of olive oil on top, and close the lid.

To serve, whisk 60ml of the pistou into the hot soup, then season to taste. Depending on the saltiness of your chicken stock, you may need to add up to another tablespoon of salt. Serve with grated parmesan cheese and the remaining pistou.

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