Provence - Cookery recipe
Pistou soup - a mixture of basil and different coloured beans
Ingredients for the pistou soup:
750g French beans, 750g haricot beans, 750g red kidney beans, 2 potatoes, 2 courgettes, 2 leeks, 2 tomatoes, 1 stick of celery, 1 basil plant, 5 garlic cloves, 50g grated Gruyère cheese, 50g grated Parmesan cheese, 50g grated red cheese, 2 glasses of olive oil, 250g pasta shells.
Preparing the pistou soup:
Shell the haricot beans and kidney beans. Cut the French beans, courgettes, potatoes, leeks and celery into small cubes.
Boil the beans and vegetables in 3 litres of salted water for 1hr 30min in a large pan. While the mixture is cooking, blanche the 2 tomatoes for around 2min and peel them. Crush the 5 large cloves of garlic in a mortar along with a good handful of basil. Add the tomatoes and gradually pour in the olive oil to make a creamy mixture. Twenty minutes before the vegetables are ready, add this mixture to the vegetables in the pan. Taste the soup, which should be highly seasoned.
Bring to the boil. Once the mixture is boiling, add the pasta shells, then when they are cooked, add the different grated cheeses.
This pistou soup should be quite thick. Serve hot.