This is a spring standard for me I’ve been making it since 2001, a beautiful green vegetable soup with a dollop of Provençal pistou. The pistou is also marvelous on pasta or on bread.
Spring Vegetable Soup with Pistou
2 T unsalted butter
2 leeks, White and light green parts, sliced and then rinsed well
4 oz. green beans, cut into 2 inch pieces (or fiddlehead ferns, if in season)
8 oz. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
8 oz. shelled fava beans (fresh or frozen) or lima beans
4 c. vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 c. small soup pasta
1 c. packed basil leaves
1 small tomato, seeded and chopped
1 tsp. garlic, chopped
Coarse sea salt and pepper
3 Tbl. olive oil
Heat the butter in a medium sized soup pot over medium heat, add the leeks and sauté two minutes or until softened. Add the green beans and sautéed two minutes, then add the asparagus and sauté one minute. Add the father beans and stock and bring to a boil and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes until all the vegetables are cooked.
Meanwhile, cook the soup pasta in salted boiling water till tender. Drain and rinse in cold water then toss with 1 tsp. olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
When the soup is done, add the cooked soup pasta and simmer a few minutes more.
Pound in a mortar and pestle or use a food processor all of the pistou ingredients together until very smooth, add the oil slowly.
Serve the soup with a big dollop of pistou in the middle, stir around as you eat. Parmesan cheese is nice also.