Vegetable Soup with Basil and Garlic Sauce

(from squidly’s recipe box)

excellent. flexible. healthy. affordable.

Source: Epi

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Serves 6 people

Categories: cheap, healthy, tried, veggies


  • 1 small fennel bulb (sometimes called anise)
  • 1/4 pound sliced pancetta, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium turnip, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 small cabbage, cored and chopped (2 cups)
  • 1 (2-inch) piece of rind cut from a wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)
  • 2 small yellow summer squash or zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium boiling potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf (not California)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 9 cups water
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen baby lima beans
  • 1/2 pound haricots verts or other thin green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 (15- to 19-ounce) can cannellini or other white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 5 ounces baby spinach (5 cups)
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ounce grated parmesan (1/3 cup)


  1. Cut fennel stalks flush with bulb, discarding them, and trim off any tough outer layers from bulb.

  2. Chop fennel into 1/2-inch pieces.

  3. Cook pancetta in oil in a 7- to 9-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in fennel, onion, turnip, carrots, and cabbage and cook, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is wilted, 5 to 7 minutes. Add cheese rind, squash, potato, thyme sprigs, bay leaf, salt, and water and bring to a boil.

  4. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes. Add lima beans, green beans, and cannellini and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Discard cheese rind, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf. Stir in spinach and season with salt and pepper.

  5. Make pistou while soup is simmering:

  6. Mince and mash garlic to a paste with salt (or pound with a mortar and pestle). Blend with basil in a food processor until basil is finely chopped. Add oil and cheese and purée.

  7. Top servings with a spoonful of pistou, then stir.

Email to a friend | Print this recipe | Back