Pistou Soup – this is for you Jean

Initiation – Jean, my lovely sous chef for making this soup wanted the recipe. Okay, I need to confess, being the sous chef requires you do pretty much ALL the work for this soup. Jean – find yourself a sous chef and this soup becomes VERY easy to make.

Planning – as stated above, the first requirement for making this soup is having someone capable of using a sharp knife without injuring themselves to help you. You (or they) will be cutting a LOT of vegetables into small bits. You will also need a large stock pot.


1/4 cup good olive oil
3 large Leeks
10 cloves garlic
1/2 cup fresh oregano
1/2 cup fresh basil
1 large acorn squash
10 large roma or heirloom tomatoes
2 cups softened red beans (you can use canned but drain them well)
2 cups softened large white beans (canelli beans, lima beans or some other white beans – not Fava though as some folks have a unknown severe allergy to fava beans).
1 – 2 cups left over pasta cut into small bits (I use the pasta I make for this)


Wash and slice the leeks.
Place them into the stock pot on very low heat with the olive oil. You are going to “sweat” the vegetables BEFORE you add the water. This releases much more flavor into the final soup. Keep the temperature low – you are not browning anything in this recipe.
While they are sweating, peel and thinly slice the garlic. Add to the leeks to sweat the garlic as well.
Finely chop the basil and oregano. Add this to the sweating vegetables.
Peel the acorn squash. Remove the seeds and put aside (you can roast these later to munch on).
Dice the acorn squash into 1 inch squares. Add to the sweating vegetables. Cook for about 20 minutes BEFORE adding the tomatoes.
Cut the tomatoes into the same small squares – skin, seeds and all. Add to the sweating vegetables. sweat for another 15 minutes.
Add the softened beans. sweat for another 15 minutes.
Put 4 – 8 cups water (depending on the volume and thickness of the soup you want to make).
Heat slowly. Then add the left over pasta.
Salt and pepper to taste.
When serving, sprinkle with fresh herbs and squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice

Monitor and Control

Keep the temperature low
This recipe is a take your time type of thing. It is good if you are multi-tasking with this making other things – like making bread, posting other recipes in your blog, etc.
Make sure anyone you have helping you knows to keep the temperature low on the stove – especially when you add the tomatoes. If the temp gets too high, the tomatoes lose their shape and the soup looks like it has tomato puree in it instead of just little bits of tomatoes.
Also, make sure the acorn squash is mostly cooked (slightly firm and not mushy) before you put in the tomatoes.


This is a great soup to put in little containers and freeze. I use glass bowls with good lids and move it right to the microwave for a nice lunch.


One Response to “Pistou Soup – this is for you Jean”

  1. Charlene Says:

    Thanks for posting the recipe! I made it and it was delicious.