Light Vegetable Soup with Pistachio Pistou
- SERVINGS: 8
Adding a small dollop of pistou—the French version of pesto—to this light vegetarian soup gives it a luxurious feel.
- 2 quarts of water
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 3 large carrots, thickly sliced
- 3 medium onions, coarsely chopped
- Two 2-inch wedges of green cabbage (about 6 ounces)
- 2 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
- Trimmed stems from 1 fennel bulb
- 6 thyme sprigs
- 4 large garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
- 1 medium parsnip, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 large fennel bulb, stems trimmed, bulb halved, cored and thinly sliced lengthwise
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 1 small zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 4 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Pistachio Pistou
- Shavings from one 2-ounce piece of Parmesan cheese
- In a saucepan, whisk the water into the tomato paste. Add the carrots, onions, cabbage, celery, fennel stems, thyme and garlic. Season with salt and cook over low heat for 1 hour. Strain the broth into another large saucepan and discard the vegetables.
- Bring the broth to a boil. Add the carrots, parsnip, sliced fennel and onion. Reduce the heat to moderate, cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and tomatoes, cover and simmer for 3 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper.
- Ladle the soup into shallow bowls and stir about 1/2 tablespoon of the Pistachio Pistou into each bowl. Top with the Parmesan shavings and serve.
This light, earthy soup with a touch of richness calls for a wine with nutty and herbal flavors or one that is full and spicy, such as a California Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay.