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Soupe au Pistou - Vegetable Soup

From our friend Jane Sigal
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Soup
Cuisine: French
Servings: 8 servings


  • 1 cup dried white beans or two 15 ounce cans
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 12 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
  • 3 leeks white and light green parts only
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced
  • 1 rib celery diced
  • ½ pound zucchini diced
  • ½ pound green beans cut into 3/8 inch pieces
  • 2 potatoes peeled and diced
  • ½ cup dried pasta small


Prepping the Beans

  • If you are using dried beans, you need to soak them most of the day or overnight before starting this recipe. Once they have soaked for a minimum of 6 hours, drain them and put them in a large pot, cover with water and bring the water to a boil.
    Boil for about 5 minutes, drain, rinse and drain again.
  • Put the beans back into the pot and once again cover them with cold water along with the fresh thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer the beans, uncovered for 1 to 1½ hours until tender.
  • Jane says to add 1 teaspoon of salt toward the end of the cooking process. Drain the beans one more time and reserve until you about to serve the soup.
  • If you are using canned beans, rinse them in a colander and reserve until ready to use.

Making the Soup

  • With 30 minutes left to the simmering of the beans, add 12 cups water to another large pot and bring to a boil.
  • Add a little salt, the olive oil and all the diced vegetables and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
  • 15 minutes into cooking the vegetables, add the pasta and cook until soft.
  • With just 5 minutes left to cooking the vegetables, add the reserved beans to heat up in the soup.
  • MEANWHILE - while the vegetables are cooking, make the pistou and reserve.
    Here's the recipe for pistou.

Finishing and Serving

  • When the soup is done cooking, taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Serve the soup in warmed bowls and either add a spoonful of pistou to each bowl or have it on the side and let your family and friends add the pistou themselves.