The French have imposed their own pronunciation on the Italian minestrone to describe a hearty soup of boiled vegetables and pasta. The Provençal pistou is a pomade of garlic, fresh basil, grated cheese, and olive oil, descendant of the Genovese pesto. A soupe au pistou is a minestrone into which, at the moment of serving, a pistou is incorporated. Beyond that point of definition, no two are alike.
| ||2 || medium leeks, white and tender green parts finely sliced crosswise |
| ||6 || oz. sweet onion, finely sliced |
| ||6 || oz. carrots, peeled, split, woody core removed, finely sliced |
| ||12 || oz. potatoes, peeled, quartered lengthwise, sliced |
| ||10 || oz. pumpkin-type squash, seeded, peeled, coarsely diced |
| ||1 || lb. (before shelling) fresh white beans (or the equivalent of precooked dried beans) |
| ||~ || Bouquet garni: celery branch, parsley, bay leaf, thyme |
| ||2½ || qt. water |
| ||~ || Salt |
| ||6 || oz. fresh green beans, tips snapped, cut crosswise (a handful at a time) into approximately ½-inch lengths |
| ||2 || or 3 small, firm zucchini (about 8 ounces), cut into ¼-inch slices |
| ||1 || cup short or “elbow” macaroni |
A quart-sized marble aïoli mortar is perfect for making the pistou. Use a wooden bowl if nothing else is available.