Close-up of Gratuitous Veggie Porn

Close-up of Gratuitous Veggie Porn

This post isn’t about taking advantage of the “last of summer”.  It’s still 95 degrees here in Texas and it will be until mid-October.  So while the rest of the country is losing their minds buying pumpkin spice everything, we’re still boiling in our own juices here.  One saving grace about this is that we get those summer veggies a little bit longer than everyone else.  Now what to do with copious amounts of vegetables…

 Summer Provençal Soup with Pistou

Serves: 6-8   Prep Time: 1 hour 10 minutes   Cook Time: 30 minutes    Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Sweat those veggies!

Sweat those veggies!

Pistou

Ingredients:

1/2  cup fresh basil leaves
1/2  cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/3  cup extra virgin olive oil
1       garlic clove

Soup

Ingredients:

1   Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1   leek, white and light green parts, halved lengthwise, sliced to 1/2 inch thick pieces
2   celery ribs, sliced 1/2 inch thick
2   carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
2   garlic cloves, minced
4 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3   cups water
1 cup small shells
12  ounces haricots verts, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch lengths
1   small zucchini, halved lengthwise, seeded, then cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1   Tbsp fresh lemon juice (or to taste)
Salt and pepper

Instructions for the pistou:

  1. Throw all the ingredients into a food processor.  Process until smooth.

Instructions for the soup:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Once the oil is shimmering, add the leek, carrots and celery along with 1/2 tsp salt and cook until veggies are a little soft, about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Throw in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Stir in the broth and water and bring to a simmer, still on medium-high heat.
  4. Stir in the pasta and simmer until it is a little soft, about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the haricots verts and simmer until bright green, but still crunchy, about 3 minutes.
  6. Stir in the zucchini and simmer until all veggies and pasta are tender.
  7. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste

Serve this soup with a 1-2 Tbsp of the pistou and a hunk of crusty, rustic bread!  You’ll never know how healthy this soup is because it tastes fabulous.

Let me know what you think!