After our trip to Chelsea Market the other day I was left with a bounty of vegetables, but no plans for how to use them. I decided to make a Soupe au Pistou, especially because I bought a giant bunch of basil. Traditionally, Soupe au Pistou is just a light vegetable soup with pesto mixed in at the table and perfect with a nice loaf of crusty bread (which I happened to have as well). I toasted the bread in the oven with some olive oil, sea salt and freshly grated parmesan cheese. The soup turned out fine, but we were left with lots of bread and pesto when the soup was gone. What happened next, you ask? Pesto was slathered on bread and not a speck was left when we were finished. I should have skipped the soup and just had bruschetta for dinner. Next time I think I will, with the addition of some nice heirloom tomatoes.
I like my pesto with plenty of parmesan cheese and just a little garlic. Here is the recipe.
Basil Pesto (makes about 1-1/2 cups)
1 really big bunch of basil, or 2-3 smaller bunches
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 small clove of garlic
1/3 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Wash the basil until completely free of dirt. Dry well. Place in a food processor with the cheese, pine nuts, and garlic. Process until finely chopped, then gradually add the olive oil until your desired consistency has been reached. Season with salt and pepper.