Vegetable Soup with Pistou

Brrr, it's cold outside no matter which direction you turn! Like a freshly-squeezed icy cold lemonade on a summer day, nothing warms the soul better than a steaming-hot, comforting bowl of homemade soup during wintertime.

Today we are climbing into Pistou, a savory, naturally vegan sauce composed of garlic, fresh basil, and olive oil originating from Provence. It’s similar to pesto, but without the pine nuts. I prefer to use a mortar and pestle - and a bit of elbow grease - to grind the perfect amount for the recipe. Just wait until you see how pleasantly vibrant the color is.

We're using our pistou to garnish a wonderful vegetable soup that is sure to cure you from any lasting doldrums. Go all in on anything white or green in your vegetable drawer: leeks, zucchini, green beans, peas — are all welcome to the pistou party!

Vegetable Soup with Pistou

Make the Pistou – In a mortar and pestle, add the garlic and basil leaves. Grind until very fine, about one minute. Add the olive oil and salt and blend until smooth, about one more minute. 

Make the Winter Vegetable Soup – In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and potato. Cook for five minutes, stirring often, Reduce the heat to medium low, and cook until the potato is tender, about 10 minutes. Using a potato masher, mash the vegetables to break down the potatoes. 

Add the hot vegetable broth and stir. Increase the heat to medium and cook for 10-15 minutes. Add the remaining vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 more minutes until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the tahini,

Serve in large bowls with pistou, and a little cashew parmesan, if desired.

serves 4 - 6


  • 1 medium clove garlic, smashed
  • 10 large basil leaves, washed, dried, and torn into pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • a pinch of salt


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large leek, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
  • 1 large Yukon potato, peeled and diced
  • 4 cups hot vegetable broth
  • ¼ of a small savoy cabbage
  • 1 cup haricot verts, trimmed and cut in 2″ lengths
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp tahini