Becky Luigart-Stayner Photo by: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Vegetable Soup with Pistou

Navy beans, leeks, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, and zucchini combine for a heart-healthy soup that takes the chill off a cold winter night. The flavorful topping is a basil pistou, a mixture similar to pesto minus the pine nuts.

Cooking Light JUNE 2005

  • Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 2 cups soup and 2 teaspoons pistou)


  • Soup:
  • 1/2 cup dried navy beans
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 3/4 cups chopped leek
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped carrot (about 2 medium)
  • 1 cup chopped seeded peeled tomato
  • 3/4 cup peeled diced potato
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 parsley sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Dash of ground thyme
  • 10 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups diced zucchini (about 2)
  • 3/4 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut crosswise in half
  • Pistou:
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
  • Remaining ingredient:
  • Fresh thyme sprigs (optional)


To prepare soup, sort and wash beans, and place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; cover and let stand 8 hours. Drain; return beans to pan. Add 6 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes or until tender. Drain; return beans to pan.

Add leek and next 9 ingredients (through dash of thyme) to pan, stirring to combine. Add 10 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 30 minutes or until potato is tender.

Stir in zucchini, macaroni, and green beans; cook 15 minutes or until macaroni is tender. Discard bay leaf.

To prepare pistou, combine basil, cheese, and garlic in a food processor; process until a stiff paste forms. With processor on, slowly pour oil through food chute; process until well blended. Serve with soup. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 243
  • Calories from fat: 24%
  • Fat: 6.6g
  • Saturated fat: 1.5g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 3.8g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.9g
  • Protein: 9.9g
  • Carbohydrate: 37.6g
  • Fiber: 8.3g
  • Cholesterol: 3.9mg
  • Iron: 2.9mg
  • Sodium: 679mg
  • Calcium: 135mg

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Vegetable Soup with Pistou Recipe