Adding a small dollop of pistou—the French version of pesto—to this light vegetarian soup gives it a luxurious feel.
Plus: More Soup Recipes and Tips
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
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
Shavings from one 2-ounce piece of Parmesan cheese
How to Make It
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.
To make the soup a little richer, add a Parmesan rind to the broth along with the vegetables and herbs and strain it out after everything simmers. If you would like to make the soup more substantial, add cooked rice or beans.
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