Immunity Boosting Dishes: Soupe au Pistou

A couple of weeks ago, my post introduced a few super foods that you can use to boost your immunity as we are entering the cold and flu season. Prevention is the best medicine, so stock your kitchen with garlic, ginger, onion and honey. Here's one recipe idea that relies heavily on garlic.

Source: Vegetarian Times Nov/Dec 2008 

Soupe Au Pistou

Pistou is a fragrant sauce of garlic, basil and olive oil that's related to Italian pesto. Here it is stirred into a soup at the last minute. The heat of the soup releases the flavors of the garlic and basil without cooking them.

Soup: 

  • 1/3 cup dried chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1/3 cup dried pinto beans, rinsed
  • 1 x 15-oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup) 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp) 
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 3 medium red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (1 cup) 
  • 2 carrots, sliced (1 cup) 
  • 1 cup frozen Italian flat beans
  • 1/4 cup vermicelli, optional  

Pistou 

  • 8 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup olive oil  

1. To make soup: place chickpeas and pinto beans in large pot, and cover with water. Bring to a boil, cover and cook 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand 30 minutes. Drain beans, and rinse.  

2. Return beans to pot; add tomatoes, onion, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, and 5 cups water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Season with pepper, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Add potatoes and carrots, and simmer, covered for 30 minutes. Stir in flat beans, and cook 10 minutes, or until beans are tender. Stir in vermicelli, if desired. Cook 3 minutes more.

3. Meanwhile, make Pistou: Pulse basil and garlic in food processor until finely chopped. Add olive oil, and pulse until combined. Transfer to small bowl.

4. Spoon 2 Tbs. Pistou in bottom of each bowl. Spoon soup over top.  

Stay tuned for Ginger Congee and Mixed Vegetable Masala