This is the first version of soupe au pistou that Paula Wolfert ever loved. She learned the recipe in the '70s from Claude Thomas, her neighbor in Tangier, who was writer Paul Bowles's French translator. Thomas's trick was to use a ratatouille-like mixture as a base for the hearty soup. Here the soup starts with a sautéed mix of eggplant, onions, garlic, peppers and zucchini. More Warming Soups

August 2006


Recipe Summary

1 hr 15 mins
3 hrs 15 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • In a colander, toss the eggplant with 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and let drain for 20 minutes. Rinse the eggplant well and squeeze out as much water as possible.

  • Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the onions and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until very soft but not browned, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Add the eggplant, frying pepper and half of the zucchini and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes. Cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very soft, about 30 minutes.

  • Pour the boiling water into the pot and add the drained cannellini beans. Cover and simmer gently over moderately low heat until the beans are tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

  • Add the bouquet garni, carrots, mixed green and wax beans and nutmeg to the soup and cook until the beans are tender. Season the soup generously with salt and pepper. Stir in the remaining diced zucchini, the potatoes and the macaroni and cook until the potatoes and macaroni are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the Classic Pistou. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with grated Mimolette; pass additional grated cheese at the table.

Make Ahead

The soup can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat and add the Classic Pistou shortly before serving.


One Serving 248 Calories, 14 gm Fat, 3.2 gm Saturated Fat, 26 gm Carbohydrates, 6.5 gm Fiber.