entertainingfoodFood & Drinkin the kitchen withkristina gillrecipes

in the kitchen with: dwellstudio’s pistou soup

by Grace Bonney

When Christiane Lemieux of DwellStudio submitted this recipe in October, we thought it was a great idea for winter. Those of you who aren’t still watching the snow fall can take advantage of it as well.  You can use whichever vegetables are in season and most flavorful, even if the recipe takes advantage of summer’s finest.  Hearty soups are a great way to use up any surplus vegetables you have around and though I had every intention of pureeing the leftovers and freezing it, my husband ate it all so there were none!   Vegetarians/vegans can substitute the chicken stock with a non-meat based alternative and just use toasted crostini rubbed with garlic, instead of parmesan.    –Kristina

About Christiane: Canadian Christiane Lemieux is a mother of two and a half – Isabelle (4) and William (2 ) and her 12 year old Lab, Jake, who comes to the office with her every day.  She is married to Josh, who is also her business partner, and she is the Founder and Creative Director of DwellStudio and DwellStudio for Target.  She graduated from the Parson’s School of Design with a degree in Fashion design, and has a degree in Art History from Queen’s University in Canada.  Christiane is inspired by travel, design, and all things creative and is trying to figure out how to live a life of adventure while bringing her kids along, too .

CLICK HERE for the full recipe and more about why Christine chose it after the jump!

Why Christiane chose this recipe:

For the middle of the winter I love a gorgeous chunky soup.  It’s a very Canadian way to stay warm. This soup is really a meal if you choose to add pasta, although the pasta can be left out for a less hearty soup.   This recipe is an adaptation of my Dad’s recipe for Pistou, a typical French soup that uses the addition of the French version of pesto, pistou.

{Editor’s Note:  If you are adding dried beans to your soup, you should soak them over night and prepare them almost to their desired doneness prior to adding to the soup.}

Ingredients – Serves 6-8

For the Soup:

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 medium leeks, dark green parts trimmed and discarded, light green and
  • white parts thoroughly washed
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 Yukon gold potatoes
  • 12 green beans, trimmed
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 medium yellow summer squash
  • 1 cup of beans (lima, flageolet or cranberry – chic peas also work)
  • 3 ripe tomato, peeled, seeded OR I can of whole tomatoes
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • Optional – 1 cup small pasta – like shell or elbow

For the Pistou:

  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Parmesan Crostini:

  • 6 to 8 slices French bread, about 1/4-inch thick
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan

1.  Clean, trim, and dice all vegetables into 1/2 inch cubes/pieces.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

2.  In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the leeks

and saute just until they start to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Add

the garlic and saute about 1 minute more. Add the carrots and celery and

continue sauteing until the vegetables deepen in color but have not yet

begun to brown, 3 to 4 minutes more. Pour the stock into the pan, bring

it  to a boil, and reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Sprinkle in a  generous pinch of salt and the and thyme. Stir in the beans, zucchini, summer squash,  and tomato. Continue simmering for 15 minutes.

3. If you are using pasta, at this point, add it to the soup and simmer for 15 minutes.  If you are not adding pasta, check the vegetables to see if they are tender.  If not, cook 15 minutes longer, or until they are done.  The soup should take no more than 30 minutes to cook.

Meanwhile, make the Pistou:

1.  Put the garlic in a blender or food processor with about 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Begin processing.

2.  With the machine running, add the basil leaves and parmesan, and then pour in enough extra-virgin olive oil to make a smooth, thick, but fluid paste.

3.  Transfer about 2/3 of the paste into a serving bowl to pass alongside the soup.

Make the parmesan crostini:

1.  Brush the bread slices with olive oil and arrange them on a baking sheet.  Bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes.

2.  Remove them from the oven and turn on the broiler. Sprinkle 1 side of each crouton with parmesan and put it back on the baking sheet.

3.  Broil until the cheese is warm and slightly brown, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

When the soup is ready, stir the remaining pistou into the saucepan. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning to taste.

To serve:

Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls. Float a parmesan crostino in the center of each bowl. With a spoon, drizzle a little more pistou over the parmesan crostino and soup in each bowl. Serve immediately, passing more pistou alongside for each person to add, to taste.

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