This is a Barefoot Contessa recipe that laughs in the face of all other vegetable soup recipes. It will surprise you. And, your hubby and kids gobbling it all up will surprise you too! As you can see from the pictures below, there is a hearty amount of nutrition, but what you cannot tell yet is how fabulously flavorful the pisou (french pesto) makes the dish. But, even if you forego the pistou, the soup will still satisfy. It’s secret weapon is saffron. Prepare yourself at the supermarket – saffron is pricey, but it will last you many pots of soup! Thankfully, all other ingredients are very common and very reasonably priced. Thank you to my friend Karen for introducing this exceedingly delicious meal to me!
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 C chopped onion (3 medium)
- 2 C chopped leeks (white and light green parts)
- 3 C of 1/2 inch diced white potatoes
- 3 C of 1/2 inch peeled and diced carrots
- 1 1/2 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 3 quarts homemade or 3- 32 oz cartons of veg or chicken broth
- 1 tsp saffron threads
- 1/2 lb green beans, ends removed and cut in half
- 4 oz white or whole grain spaghetti, broken in half
- 4 lg garlic cloves
- 1/4 C tomato paste
- 24 lg basil leaves
- 1/2 C freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 C olive oil
Heat the olive oil in lg pot and add onions. Sauté over low heat for 10 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add the leeks, potatoes, carrots, s&p and sauté over medium heat for another 5 minutes. Add the stock and saffron and bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 30 min or until all vegetables are tender. Add green beans and spaghetti, bring to a simmer and cook for 15 more min.
For pistou, place all ingredients in a food processor except the olive oil and puree. Then, slowly add in olive oil until it becomes a paste like texture.
To serve, whisk pistou into soup (about 1-2 tbsp, to your liking) and then sprinkle grated parmesan over top. Enjoy!
Photo cred: Rebecca O’Hara