Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 20 mins

A simple soup to make packed with intense flavour. From Elizabeth David's 'A Book of Mediterranean Food'.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Put the beans, potatoes and tomatoes into the boiling water.
  2. Season with salt and pepper and boil over a hot fire.
  3. When the vegetables are almost cooked, add the vermicelli and finish cooking gently.
  4. Make the aillade: In a blender, blend the garlic, basil and grilled tomato until thoroughly smooth.
  5. Add 3 tablespoonfuls of the liquid from the pistou (soup).
  6. Pour the pistou into a tureen, stir in the aillade and top with some grated Gruyere (Swiss) cheese.


Most Helpful

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.

Ms*Bindy March 05, 2006

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