recipes barefoot contessa

Provencal Vegetable Soup (Serves 6 to 8)

Copyright 2004, Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten, Clarkson/Potter Publishers, All Rights Reserved


Photo: Quentin Bacon

2 tablespoons good olive oil
2 cups chopped onions (2 onions)
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)
11/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 quarts Homemade Chicken Stock or canned broth
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1/2 pound haricots verts (French string beans), ends removed and cut in half
4 ounces spaghetti, broken in pieces
1 cup Pistou
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

For the Pistou
4 large garlic cloves
1/4 cup tomato paste
24 large basil leaves
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup good olive oil

Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot, add the onions, and sauté over low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Add the leeks, potatoes, carrots, salt, and pepper and sauté over medium heat for another 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and saffron, bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender. Add the haricots verts and spaghetti, bring to a simmer, and cook for 15 more minutes.
To serve, whisk 1/4 cup 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 more pistou.

For the Pistou
Place the garlic, tomato paste, basil, and Parmesan in the bowl of a food processor and purée. With the motor running, slowly pour the olive oil down the feed tube to make a paste. Pack into a container, pour a film of olive oil on top, and close the lid.