So, about that soup I was telling you about – this is my favorite soup. Ever. I wasn’t a big fan of soup until I tried this one. My mom traditionally makes it at least once a year (she makes an enormous batch and freezes part of it, so bonus on that front) and she made it last year before I came home at Thanksgiving. I was immediately smitten with it, and stole the recipe. It took me until this year to actually try making it, but it was a fantastic success in my house.
We’re a pretty picky bunch. I’ve already confessed to being a picky eater, and a picky vegetarian on top of it. One of my housemates is lactose intolerant, one is a vegan, and the other is just picky. Like me. Except he eats meat. We usually work around all of these issues when we cook for each other, and this dinner (minus the cheese – I didn’t tell the vegan about that, shh…) served us all incredibly well. Particularly after a cold day in the snow, this was well-deserved and well-loved. It’s especially delightful because it takes less preparatory effort than I would have otherwise thought – it’s actually relatively easy to make. And delicious.
Serve this when you need comfort food, or when you want to impress your picky housemates (I actually got a serious compliment on this from the really picky eater…and that warmed me more than the soup).
French Vegetable Soup (Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking)
Serves approximately six to seven; serve with a loaf of bread
3 to 4 quarts of water (if you’re me and don’t want to convert this: fill a nalgene three to four times)
2 cups diced carrots
2 cups cubed potatoes
2 cups diced onions
1 tbsp salt
2 cups frozen haricots verts
1/3 cup pasta (I used macaroni noodles)
1 slice stale white bread, crumbled
1/8 tsp pepper
4 cloves smashed garlic
3 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/4-1/2 cup olive oil
Boil the water, vegetables, and salt in a large stew pot for forty minutes. Twenty minutes before serving, add the haricots verts, the pasta, the bread, and the pepper. Boil for about fifteen minutes, or until the green beans are tender. In a separate bowl (or, as I’ve thought about it, in a food processor) blend together the garlic, tomato paste, and cheese. Slowly add the olive oil to this mixture. When the soup is ready, add a cup of the soup to the pistou (the mixture you just made) and mix. Add back into the soup and serve.