Michelin star chef, Raymond Blanc is such a delight. He’s a charming, jolly Frenchman, yet a a perfectionist with his food; well, that’s how he comes across at the very least. And this week, after watching many of his YouTube recipes, I was inspired by his Pistou Soup.
He says there’s an ongoing 700-year old debate about where pistou actually originates from… is it French or is it Italian? Well, he doesn’t care, he just loves it and so since I’m head-over-heels in love with my soup maker, then I’d be silly not to have a dabble with this one.
As usual I’ve checked out other people’s versions, many including cannelini or haricot beans, or even parsnips and admit, I have not stuck to Blanc’s recipe to the letter. A soup maker recipe almost always needs adapting to work and like to swap the so-called”bad” ingredients with the “good”.
Also, note the three key points of this soup is, as Raymond suggests is, firstly, it’s one of the best soups you can make at home as you can use any veg you have. Secondly, you must sauté the veg, turning the starches in to sugar to get the best flavour instead as we don’t use any stock and thirdly, the soup needs the pistou (a nut-free pesto) at the end for its depth of flavour. Ok, so I have paraphrased here, but you get the gist I’m sure.
Recipe – 0.5 Syns Per Serving.
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
150g red onion, diced
50g or 1 small carrot, peeled & diced
100g green runner beans, chopped
200g courgettes, chopped in 2cm chunks
180g or 1 fennel bulb, diced
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
80g reduced fat cheese (20g per person which is half each person’s healthy extra or to be synned)
For the pistou:
1 whole bunch of basil leaves
1 garlic clove, minced
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
20 sprays of Tesco Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 calorie spray
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- Saute all the veg in a large frying until the onions are tender.
- Transfer veg to soup maker or large pan if using and add all the remaining ingredients except the cheese and pistou ingredients.
- Set soup maker to chunky or simmer in pan for 20-25 minutes until all the veg is tender.
- Once the soup is cooked, ladle out 100ml of soup in to a food processor or blender, avoiding any veg.
- Chuck in the rest of the pistou ingredients and blend.
- Serve the soup, pour over with the pistou and top with low fat grated cheese and eat. *Side note: If you’re making this soup ahead and planning to freeze and warm up later, then don’t add the pistou until you’re ready to eat as the basil will overcook and lose its flavour. If it does, then add a stock cube and heat it through.
Let me know what you think and if you want to get more interactive to find some fantastic soup recipes, then why not come and join my Facebook support group, I LOVE SW Soup. Or, why not be a new subscriber on my YouTube Channel where I share weekly recipes every Friday at 6pm!
Tastefully Vikkie x