MY MOTHER'S GARDEN VEGETABLE SOUP Recipe
- 2 2 2small leeks, white part only, thoroughly washed
- 1 1 1large potato, peeled
- 1 1 1small onion
- 2 2 2stalks celery
- 1 1 1medium zucchini
- 12 12 12green beans
- 2 2 2medium carrots, peeled
- 6 6 6tablespoons TABLESPOON_USVolumeolive oil
- 3 3 3tablespoons TABLESPOON_USVolumewater
- 1/2 .5 .5gallon GALLON_USVolumechicken stock
- 6 6 6ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded (see "Cooking Tips")
- 4 4 4medium garlic cloves
- 30 30 30fresh basil leaves, washed and dried
- 1/2 .5 .5teaspoon TEASPOON_USVolumefreshly ground black pepper
- Cut the leeks, potato, onion, celery, zucchini, green beans, and carrots into 1/4-inch dice.
- In a 6-quart stockpot, combine 3 tablespoons of the olive oil with the water. Add the vegetables and sauté over medium-low heat until all the water evaporates. Do not let the vegetables brown.
- Add the stock and bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, at a gentle boil for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a food processor fitted with the metal blade, put the tomatoes, basil, garlic, and remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Pulse until pureed.
- Stir the puree into the cooked soup. Do not let the soup return to a boil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve the soup hot or cold from a tureen at the dining table or in individual bowls.
The simple soup my mother makes from the vegetables she grows in her own garden next to the house where I grew up in St. Viet, Carinthia, Austria, is very little different from the following traditional French recipe: just lots of good, fresh vegetables and some liquid to cook them in. My mother uses only water, because her vegetables are peak-of-season, just-picked, and therefore full of flavor; but you can use stock if you like. Pistou, the puree of tomatoes, basil, garlic, and olive oil in this recipe, is a traditional French condiment that adds a burst of flavor just before serving.