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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Spirelli Soupe au Pistou

Now here's an interesting twist to the traditional soup with pistou often eaten near the Med in September.
Cut all the veggies you can into spaghetti!
This is going to be a total mind trick.  The unknowing diner may believe he or she is going to dig into something asian, although confused by the aroma, and only upon finishing will they discover that it was soup...and vegetarian.
Oh this kind of thing gets me so excited and silly!
Making soupe au pistou has been on my mind since it was announced on TV that it is now the season for it.  I really don't like tv much, but I love when they talk about fruits and vegetables and how they officially give the go to make certain things.  As I'm writing I realize they do it quite often on French tv.  Anyway, as I was making a batch of paneer, I figured making this soup would be a perfect use for my whey.  Making this soup a top level soup would be to make it using Mr. Spirelli as mich as possible.  Actually, I think Mr. Spirelli should ALWAYS be used as much as possible.
Yield: a ton especially if you are the only soup eater in the house.
1 Tbsp EVOO
1 very large onion, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp dried thyme
Handful parsley
1 chopped tomato
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 very large or 2 small carrots, spirelli'd
1 long turnip, spirelli'd
1 large zucchini, spirelli'd
handful peas
1 cup dried pinto beans, soaked then cooked
red pepper flakes
large handful grated parmesan
4 cups (1L) water, whey or stock
1 bunch fresh basil
3-4 large garlic cloves
3 Tbsp EVOO
1 small tomato
1.  In 1 tbsp EVOO, sautée the onions and bay leaf until onions are translucent.
2.  Add the garlic, thyme, and parsley and cook, stirring for another minute.
3.  Add the celery,  the part of the carrots, turnip, and zucchini leftover and chopped after the spirelli'ing and cook stirring for 5 minutes, stirring.
4.  When things start sticking, add the tomatoes and parsley and a little whey.. just enough to cover.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
5.  Meanwhile, make your pistou.  Blend together all the ingredients.  Ok that didn't take 10 minutes, especially if you have a Magic Bullet, but you can do the dishes you didn't get around to doing during this time.
6.  Add the rest of the whey, bring to a boil, then add the spirelli'd ingredients and simmer for another 10 minutes.
7.  Add the beans and peas.  At this point, add copious amounts of pepper and 2 Tbsp pistou.  Taste and add salt and adjust the seasoning.

Serve topped with fresh pistou, parmesan, and red pepper flakes.
I have to admit this makes a very large quantity, but it freezes well so it can be easily whipped out during a cold evening when you really don't have time to do anything else.
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