Blizzard 2015 Provencal Vegetable Soup with Pistou

On a snowy blizzard day or any day what could be more enjoyable than a bowl of homemade Vegetable Soup with Pistou. I make this classic french Provencal soup vegetarian by using vegetable stock. You can substitute chicken stock if you prefer. I also added one of my favorite grains, farro for an added nutty grain taste.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons good olive oil

2 cups chopped onions (2 onions)

1 cup chopped celery (4 stalks)

2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 to 4 leeks)

3 cups 1/2-inch-diced unpeeled boiling potatoes (1 pound)

3 cups 1/2-inch-diced carrots (1 pound)

1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

32 ounces (box) no salt added vegetable broth or homemade

1 cup of water

1 cube vegetable bullion

1 teaspoon saffron threads

1/2 pound haricots verts, ends removed and cut in 1/2

1/2 cup farro

1 cup Pistou, recipe follows

Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot, add the onions, and saute over low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Add the leeks, potatoes, carrots, salt, and pepper and saute over medium heat for another 5 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, water, bullion, and saffron, bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender. Add the haricots verts and farro, bring to a simmer, and cook for 30 more minutes.

To serve, whisk 1/4 cup of the pistou into the hot soup, then season to taste.  Serve with grated Parmesan cheese and more pistou.

Pistou:

4 large garlic cloves

3 cups basil leaves

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1/2 cup good olive oil

Place the garlic, basil, and Parmesan in the bowl of a food processor and puree. With the motor running, slowly pour the olive oil down the feed tube to make a paste. Pour into container placing plastic wrap directly on the Pistou surface. It can be made two days ahead and refrigerated.

Yield: 1 cup

Enjoy!

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