I know it is a bit strange to be making soup just as the sun is finally deciding to go into summer mode (kind of), but this is actually a very spring-y soup (not in the rebounding sense.) The ingredient list seems long and random, but, believe it or not, it is actually from a real, published recipe. Yes, bok choy and arugula in a Provence-style soup may sound strange, but it is delicious.
This recipe uses a bouquet garni, which is a bundle of herds tied together. The point of tying them together is to make it easy to remove the herbs before serving, but it fell apart in my pot from the stirring.
So, I think you should decide for yourself whether you want to tie up the herbs or not. One solution would be to wrap the thyme branches and bay leaf in some cheese cloth (because they are unpleasant to eat) and just leave the parsley in the soup.
Soupe de Légumes au Pistou (from Envie de... Cuisine Végétarienne)
Ingredients (serves 3-4 as a main course)
- 1 Litre water
- bouquet garni: fresh parsley, thyme, and 1 bay leaf
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 3 leeks, chopped
- 2-3 branches of celery, chopped
- a small handful of baby potatoes, halved
- 1/2 can of large white beans
- 1/2 cup of peas or lima beans
- 3 heads of bok choy, rib separated from leaves
- 150g arugula (1 box) <- this seems like a lot, but it actually shrinks dramatically when cooked
- 2 tsp coarse salt
- 2 large handfuls of basil
- 1 jalapeño pepper (no ribs or seeds), chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 4 tbsp of olive oil
- 3-4 tbsp of freshly grated parmesan (I strongly recommend you buy a hunck of parmeggiano and grate it yourself, then you can use the parmesan rind to flavor the broth)
Method of Preparation:
- Make the pesto: Blend the first 4 ingredients together, stir in the parmesan.
- For the soup: In a large pot, combine the water, herbs, carrots, leeks, celeri, potatoes, and the white part of the bok choy. (And a parmesan rind, if you want to)
- Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and let simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the beans, peas, and let simmer another 10 minutes.
- Add the bok choy leaves and the arugula, as well as the salt and pepper.
- Let simmer another 3-5 minutes
- Add 3/4 of the pesto to the soup and mix it in.
- Serve with a spoonful of pesto in each bowl.