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Provencal Pistou

Source: Food & Wine
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Active Time:  25 Minutes
Total Time:  45 Minutes
  4 to 6 servings
Using a food processor and a blender for the potent basil puree gives it an ultra-smooth consistency that helps it blend easily into the vegetable soup.
For the Beans:
4 ounces fresh shelled beans, such as cranberry beans (about 1 cup) or 1/2 cup dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight in cold water and drained
1 bay leaf
For the Vegetables:
2 cups plus 3 tablespoons water
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium leek, thinly sliced
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
2 small celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 thyme sprigs
4 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
4 ounces green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
For the Puree:
2 cups coarsely chopped basil
3 medium garlic cloves, quartered

1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
In a small saucepan, combine the beans with the bay leaf and 2 cups of the water. Cover partially and simmer over low heat until tender, about 20 minutes for fresh beans and 45 minutes for dried. Discard the bay leaf.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the leek, shallot, celery, carrots, bell pepper, thyme and the remaining 3 tablespoons of water and cook over moderate heat until the water has evaporated and the vegetables soften, about 10 minutes.

Add the stock and a large pinch each of salt and pepper; bring to a simmer. Add the green beans, corn and the cooked shell beans along with any remaining cooking liquid. Cover and simmer over low heat until the corn is tender, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the basil and garlic and process to a paste. With the machine on, slowly pour in the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil. Transfer the puree to a blender and blend until very smooth. Scrape the puree into a bowl and season with salt.

Add the zucchini to the soup and simmer just until tender, about 4 minutes.Discard the thyme sprigs and season the soup with salt and pepper. Remove the soup from the heat, stir in the basil puree and serve at once.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Food and Wine. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   4 to 6 servings
Calories: 353
Sodium: 142mg
Fiber: 8g
Carbohydrates, Total: 25g
Protein: 11g
% Cal. from Fat: 61%
Fat. Total: 24g
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