Pistou Soup

Pistou is a hearty French vegetable soup, similar to Italian minestrone, which uses a variation of pesto (a garlic-basil condiment) to create a rich flavor. 


Place the water, carrots, potatoes, leeks, salt, and pepper in a 41/2-quart saucepan or Dutch oven, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan with a lid, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Add the zucchini, green beans, and pasta. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Stir in the kidney beans or lima beans. 

In a small mixing bowl, stir together the nutritional yeast flakes, tomato paste, basil, and garlic into a thick paste. Then stir in the oil, mixing well. Whisk ½ cup of the hot soup broth into the nutritional yeast mixture. Gradually stir this mixture into the soup, and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Serve hot.

The Cook's Secrets:

Rinse leeks thoroughly to remove the sandy grit and dirt. The easiest way to do this is to slice halfway through each bulb lengthwise, and separate the leaves gently so the inner sections of the leek are exposed and can be readily cleaned.

Nutritional information

  • 4 servings
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    • 6 cups water 
    • 1 cup diagonally sliced carrots 
    • 1 cup peeled and cubed yellow or white potatoes 
    • 1 cup sliced leeks (use only the white bulb and the tender green part; see The Cook’s Secrets below) 
    • 1 teaspoon salt 
    • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper 
    • 1 cup sliced zucchini 
    • 1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces 
    • 1 cup dry rotini (spiral pasta) 
    • 1 cup cooked or canned red kidney beans or lima beans, rinsed well and drained 
    • cup Red Star® nutritional yeast 
    • 4 Tablespoons tomato paste 
    • 2 Tablespoons minced fresh basil, or 2 teaspoons dried basil leaves 
    • 2 large cloves garlic, pressed