A festival of summer veg in a bowl, made irresistible with a garlicky dollop of herby pistou on top
I didn’t get to eat any soupe au pistou while cycling from Marseille to Nice last spring, while researching my new book, One More Croissant For The Road, which is published next week. Perhaps it was a whisker too early for the fresh beans required, perhaps the dish was just too rustic for the restaurants of the Côte d’Azur, but it made me sad, because, as the American gourmand Waverley Root observed, it’s one of the finest soups known to man.
Much like the Italian minestrone, but with its own Gallic peculiarities, it’s the perfect way to showcase the season’s freshest produce. Properly speaking, pistou is the sauce that goes with the soup – closely related, as we shall see, to the more familiar pesto, but with its very own complement of controversies to navigate.