Pistou Soup with Smoked Ham

Pistou soup is a delicious, hearty vegetable soup from Provence, France.  Choosing to spend our winters in Northeast Pennsylvania, it’s only normal that stews, roasts, soups and heavier fare are a large part of our winter menu and I was happy to make this soup because I like it and it “sticks to the ribs.”

To change it up a bit, I used a Jamie Oliver recipe and added a piece of smoke ham.  The ham is optional; this soup is just as good without it.

The pistou paste is a cousin of pesto, without the pine nuts.

Pistou Soup with Smoked Ham

1 – 1/2 lbs smoked ham or ham hocks

1 onion, quartered

2 celery branches, quartered

2 carrots, quartered

2 bay leaves

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

2 tbsp olive oil

3 leeks, sliced and rinsed

2 celery branches, sliced

3 carrots, sliced

3 cloves garlic, slivered

3 courgettes, large diced

3 potatoes, large diced

1/2 cup baby green beans

1 large can diced tomatoes

1 medium can cannellini beans, drained

1 medium can pinto beans, drained

2 sprigs parsley, chopped

1/3 cup small macaroni


6 cloves garlic, chopped

6 sprigs basil, chopped

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

3 tbsp olive oil

Place the ham, onion, quartered carrots and celery, bay leaves, salt and pepper in a stock pot.  Cover with water 2 inches above ingredients.  Bring to a boil, them simmer for 1 hour.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet and saute the sliced leeks, carrots, celery and garlic until the leeks are soft.  Add to the stock pot with the courgettes, potatoes, green beans, diced tomatoes, canned beans, and parsley.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.  Add the macaroni and continue to cook for about 10 minutes or until the macaroni is cooked.

Grind or pound the garlic together with the basil.  Blend in the cheese, then stir in the olive oil a bit at a time to form a thick paste

Serve the soup in bowls and top each with a blob of pistou.







About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
This entry was posted in Cooking, Food and Wine, French, Main dishes, Recipes, Soup, Vegetables and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Pistou Soup with Smoked Ham

  1. bingingonabudget says:

    This looks great, I’ve actually never had this soup before. How does it differ from other soups?

  2. jmcheney says:

    A long, long time favorite at our house. Almost always with what ever handy pork bones or ham bits for delicious added flavor.

  3. Gaz says:

    It looks very comforting. I will be looking for soups when winter returns.

  4. Mad Dog says:

    That looks good. I’ve just done a couple of things with a ham hock – I’ll have to try this next!

  5. Laura McPherson says:

    Given our weather I was thinking of another bean-based soup et voila!! Parfait! thanks Rosemary~

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