A good-for-you French Stew
In France, where Foie Gras rules, this soup stands out: It’s lowfat and vegetarian. With salad and a baguette, the bean and veggie stew makes a fibre-rich meal. “Pistou” is its basil-based topping; Italians call it pesto. We call it delicious.
SOUPE AU PISTOU (Serves 6)
For the Stock 1½ tbsp olive oil, 1 medium onion, sliced thick, 1 celery stalk, chopped, 1 head fennel bulb, chopped (or 1 tsp crushed anise seed), 1 carrot, chopped, 2 plum tomatoes, quartered, 4 cloves garlic, crushed, ½ tsp red pepper flakes, 3 sprigs fresh thyme (dried will also do, just use less), 1 bay leaf. For the Soupoup 1½ tbsp olive ve oil, 1 cup diced onion, n, 2 garlic cloves, minced, ½ cup diced carrot, 1 cup diced celery, ½ cup up chopped parsley, arsley, 1 tbsp mincedced fresh (or dried) thyme, 1½ cups stewed plum tomatoes, 840 gm cooked white kidney beans, 6 tsp prepared pesto or extra-virgin olive oil. Method Stock In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil over medium heat; stir in ingredients. Cover. Cook until vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes. Add 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Lower heat; simmer for 45 minutes. Strain, reserving broth and half the vegetables. Skim fat. Discard thyme and bay leaf. Puree reserved vegetables in a blender. Stir into stock. Soup Heat oil in the same pot. Sauté onion, garlic, carrot, celery and herbs. Add reserved broth, tomatoes and beans. Bring to a boil. Lower heat; simmer 30 to 45 minutes. Ladle into bowls; drizzle with pesto or olive oil. Nutritional analysis per serving: 314 calories; 10 gm fat; 43.5 gm carbohydrates; 12.5 gm protein.