Prep 15 mins
Cook 20 mins
A simple soup to make packed with intense flavour. From Elizabeth David's 'A Book of Mediterranean Food'.
- 6 cups boiling water
- 1 lb French beans, cleaned,cut in 1 inch lengths
- 4 medium potatoes, chopped finely
- 3 tomatoes, peeled,chopped
- 1⁄4 lb vermicelli
For the aillade
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 1 grilled tomatoes, peeled and seeded
- grated gruyere cheese
- Put the beans, potatoes and tomatoes into the boiling water.
- Season with salt and pepper and boil over a hot fire.
- When the vegetables are almost cooked, add the vermicelli and finish cooking gently.
- Make the aillade: In a blender, blend the garlic, basil and grilled tomato until thoroughly smooth.
- Add 3 tablespoonfuls of the liquid from the pistou (soup).
- Pour the pistou into a tureen, stir in the aillade and top with some grated Gruyere (Swiss) cheese.
Wonderful soup.....and as an extra bonus I learned a new term....aillade! Since I usually end up making soup in the winter, I had to make a lot of subsitutions, so don't start rolling your eyes when you read what I am about to write! Frozen green beans were used; also I used a can of diced tomatoes, since fresh ones are out of the question here in March. Since I'm not overly fond of chunks of tomatoes in my soup, I put most of them in a roasting pan and roasted them and put maybe 1/3 of the can in the soup. I didn't have vermicelli, so I used orzo; For the aillade, I put most of the can of diced tomatoes in a pyrex baking pan; added the minced garlic, and some dried basil (no fresh available). I roasted all that together for about 1/2 hour to make the aillade. I also skipped the gruyere because I don't eat cholesterol if I can avoid it. This was a great soup, and I would say that it makes probably 6 or more generous servings.