Scott Brick fans! You are going to LOVE this post! I am sharing Scott's favorite soup. He requests it every week and can't get enough of it.
Those of you who wonder if I have surrended my teeth will be pleased to discover that I am, at long last, featuring another non blended soup! My father and I have had a 30 year debate about the virtues of chunk versus blended soups. We have agreed to disagree and acknowledge that there is room in the belly for both!
Scott prefers chunky soups over blended soups, and this blend is his all-time favorite. We switch up the pistou and the vegetables every week. But, this is the mix we like the best. Scott is so obsessed with semi-dried tomatoes that my mum and dad bring jars over from Australia by the case load when they come to visit.
So, I thought it deserved a mention here. You know when you have been making a recipe for so long you take it for granted? It's kind of how I feel about this soup. It is like my little white t shirt that sits in my drawer, and makes regular appearances, but is never the star attraction. Well, I decided it was right time this soup had it's moment in the spotlight!
I got a version of this recipe from my dear friend Kris, who you might remember from the incredible Date and Walnut Loaf. If you haven't tried that recipe, you are missing out on a slice of MAGIC! Kris is one of the best cooks I know. Many of my favourite staple recipes have come from times I have spent in her amazing kitchen. As with most of her simple recipes, this vegetable soup is simple, super healthy, and bursting with flavour. Those of you who are wondering, "what the heck is pistou?" are not alone. When I served it to Scott, he questioned me by asking, "are you sure you don't mean pesto?" Pistou / Pesto....it's all pretty much the same thing!
Pistou is a cold sauce made out of crusing basil, garlic and olive oil in a mortar and pestle. This simple rustic sauce originated in Italy and parts of France, and later versions included cheeses like Parmesan, which was very similar to what we think of as pesto today. I have taken this general idea and made a vegan pesto out of sundried tomatoes and macadamias. It might not be very traditional, but it tastes downright fabulous!
Pistou is one of the quickest ways to inject a huge burst of flavour to an otherwise bland soup. Not that this soup base isn't tasty on it's own. It is. You just need to add some seasoning to give it a bit of ooomph. However, a dollop of this pistou mixed in with the soup mix turns this soup from simple to sublime! For the soup base, you can use any mixture of legumes and vegetables that you like. I mix it up constantly.
I will say, that it is best to serve this soup by just ladling the soup over the dollop of pistou and allowing your guests to mix it in themselves, or it may look like you are serving up a bowl of vomit. Gross, but true. You will see what I mean when you make this recipe. Once you mix it, it is not the prettiest looking bowl I have ever shared. But what it lacks in looks it makes up for in flavour. Sensational!
Scott swears he could live on this soup, and wasn't put off by the look of it at all. But you have been warned. Enjoy.