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Originally published in the Journal de Montréal on September 9, 2007.
Vegetable soup with pistou, which is almost a meal in itself, is the pride of Provence. The term «pistou», often confused with the neighbouring and perhaps more well known Ligurian «pesto», means «crushed».
Pistou was a condiment traditionally prepared by crushing together basil, garlic, olive oil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese in a mortar and pestle. You can add different types of vegetables to the actual soup.
Nowadays it’s much more practical to use a food processor instead of a mortar and pestle. In case fresh beans are not available, you may substitute them with canned beans: although the end result will not taste the same, you’ll at least save on the shelling time.
Try our recipe for Vegetable Soup with Pistou