Farrell holding Ribollita Soup.

Mama Let’s Cook: Soupe au Pistou!

The Sunday after Thanksgiving, I crave something simple, healthy and delicious. I am a big fan of the French take on vegetable soup called, Soupe au Pistou. I love the recipe because you can use whatever vegetables you have left in your garden or you pick up at the Saturday Farmer’s market. I have included the recipe and a Mama Let’s Cook video so you can recreate it in your own kitchen. The piece de resistance is the “pistou” which is the French version of Italian pesto. It is simply garlic, basil, Parmesan, olive oil and salt & pepper. It gives an ordinary vegetable soup an upgrade in flavor!

Soupe au Pistou

A vegetable soup with pistou and Parmesan cheese

Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Servings 8


  • 1 extra large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 leeks, washed and trimmed
  • 2 cups diced carrots
  • 1 bulb fennel, chopped
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 1 bay leaf
  • good olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 diced zuccini
  • 1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • Kosher salt & ground pepper
  • 1 parmesan rind
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1 diced Idaho potato
  • 12-14 cups vegetable* or chicken stock
  • 1 box Small pasta of your choice
  • 2 cups French green beans
  • 1 or 2 cans cannellini beans
  • 2 cups sour dough bread cubes, no hard crusts
  • 2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup  grated parmesan plus more for garnish
  • 4 Cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Herbes de Provence


  1. In a soup pot, sauté your mirepoix of onion, leeks, carrots, celery, and fennel with generous olive oil, Herbs de Provence, and salt and pepper until soft.

  2. Add Parmesan rind, tomatoes, potatoes, zuccini, stock, and beans.

  3. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes.

  4. Toss in your green beans at the very end and spinach. Turn off heat and stir.

  5. In a blender or food processor, pulse basil, garlic, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

  6. Prep each bowl with a generous spoonful of your "pistou," and freshly grated Parmesan. I also like to top the soup with homemade sourdough croutons.

  7. Don't forget the crusty bread and dishes of olive oil for dipping.

Bread and Honey's Blessing of the Week

May our lives reflect the Truth:

Hope is real

Healing is possible

Life is a privilege

We exist for a purpose

Grace is available

Love prevails

God has us.



A couple of weeks ago a friend invited me to hear the NY Times best-selling author Dani Shapiro speak at Parnassus on her new work of fiction, Signal Fires! I love hearing authors speak about their creative process and how books come to life. Signal Fires is receiving amazing reviews! I can’t wait to dive in!