Soupe au Pistou
A thick, rich Provençal vegetable and bean soup infused with fresh basil. This soup is a meal in itself served with crusty bread.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion—cut in half, thinly sliced and separated into half-rings
1 carrot—quartered lengthways and thinly sliced
1 zucchini (courgette)—halved lengthways and sliced into ½-rounds
1 potato—peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup green beans—ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
6 cups chicken stock
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
14 oz (420g) canned white beans (like cannellini)—rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons pesto—store-bought or homemade


HEAT the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. COOK the onion and carrot for 3 minutes, then add the zucchini, potato and green beans and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring occasionally. ADD the stock, salt and pepper, bring to the boil, then cover the pot, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. ADD the white beans and pesto and cook for 5 minutes. SERVE in bowls with crusty bread on the side.

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