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La Soupe au Pistou - Grain Free, Plant Based and Keto-ish
At last we can share a joyful recipe with you! Not only joyful but health building too. We moved to a different part of New Zealand in November 2018, and since then we seem to have had a season of visitors, bringing news, insights and life into our new environment.
And we hope we have been able to share clearly but tactfully about Bible prophecy quickly fulfilling, and the good news about God the Father and His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. For we have a joyful message to share with people, at the right time and in the right way. Don’t you agree?
We have interesting internet access here: On again, off again. Often changes are lost during updating! Like today! This is the fourth time I have tried to publish this recipe. So I am smiling your way, because although frustrated, I am not down and out, and that is a victory! We have Paul in the Bible to thank for showing us how circumstances can look down and out, but the real life is in Jesus Christ. (Look up 2 Corinthians 4:8 in the Bible.) I pray you are well and thriving, and spending time doing that all important heart searching! I encourage you to enjoy a bowl of soup!
Pleasingly green, satisfyingly rich with olive oil, studded with flavours and colours of the vegetable rainbow. Mmm, Soup au Pistou is full of joyful memories of the summer vegetables, and the little sadness that summer has passed, and autumn (Fall) is ticking along towards winter.
This joyful soup is a French classic from the Provence region in the south of France. Of course, every cook has his or her version! The classic Pistou (a raw blended sauce) usually, but not always, has sheep or cow cheese - but not ours!
Food and Medicine from God
All good things come from God, and soil, plants and trees surely must be among God’s greatest gifts to humanity. Just think of the Garden of Eden, our ancestors’ first home! Imagine the perfect soil, perfect plants and trees, perfect growing temperature and moisture. Wow!
La Soupe au Pistou is a good example of God's gifts. Let’s start with the most fragrant ingredient - Sweet Basil, stirred into La Soupe just before serving:
Basil aside, the rest of the soup ingredients are a colourful, delicious and amazingly health giving rainbow of summery vegetables, cooked fairly quickly in fresh water.
The Master Designer of Edible Foods made No Mistakes
Yes, there are a range of heat sensitive properties in all edible plants, and some may be lost during cooking. That's a fact. But let's get real here, God is the Master Designer, do we really think that He would design edible plants that when cooked were useless to human health? Of course not!
Sometimes, our limited human thought can limit God too. God's ways are not our ways! (Look up Isaiah: 55:8-9)
And so, there are gifts in edible plants which are bioavailable (better absorbed and used by the body) when eaten raw and uncooked. And there are also gifts in edible plants which may become more bioavailable when cooked. The carrot is a classic example of this. Raw carrot has some wonderful properties for the human body. But when cooked, carrots give us a different spectrum of healing benefits.
The Synergy of a Soup Pot
I love a good bowl of soup, there is something so comforting about a well cooked vegetable - all those special fibres are retained, which feed the bacteria in our digestive systems, to start a range of healing effects throughout our bodies. And if the soup pot lid is kept (mostly) on while cooking the vegetables, the cooked essence of the vegetables remain in the water.
Not only that, but all the flavours and essences of the vegetables mingle together in the pot and create some pretty powerful synergy for health.
Synergy simply means that when more than one of something, in this case vegetables, are mingled together, they create something more powerful and wonderful than their single benefits! Now that's a healing medicine principle! And most of us, the family cooks around the world, are probably doing this day in and day out with fresh, healthy ingredients!
But you know what? God realises, He knows the synergy and our efforts to eat the healthiest food we can find, grow and afford, wherever you and I happen to live on this planet of ours. Life isn't always perfect, and God knows our hearts and sometimes we can do our best, knowing that if circumstances were different we could do better! So, no guilt! Just do your best today!
I am a firm believer that "modern science" has only scratched the surface of the wonders God has built into our soil and edible plants. And, just like the dandelion, some of God's greatest gifts are hidden in plain sight!
Growing Food for La Soupe au Pistou
Here in New Zealand, I find basil reaches its best growth towards the end of summer, the tomatoes are ripening on the vine, some varieties of beans are ready to pod for fresh beans, courgettes are aplenty. It's a feast fit for a king!
For people who choose to increase the quantity of plant portions they eat in a day, La Soupe au Pistou is wonderful. And so easy. Most of the work is in washing and slicing and dicing the vegetables. The rest of the time is hands off, except for popping some ingredients in a blender. Sometimes if I am very tired, I will use the food processor to slice the vegetables. Other times, I enjoy standing in the kitchen with my chopping board and a delightful range of vegetables.
Our version quickly cooks a rainbow of vegetables in water, that's “La Soupe". Next gently ladle the "Pistou" a rich basil sauce, into the resting pot of La Soupe, and gently stir. Oh the brightness of this soup is so uplifting!
For the Pistou, you will need some means to blend the basil, olive oil and flavourings. A high speed blender is ideal (ours is 21 years old).
If you have access to a food processor, a stick blender, or a strong arm with a mortar and pestle, that would be perfect too, though you will need to FIRST SOAK one Pistou ingredient. I’m guessing you know just what that ingredient is!
Now read on for the recipe, and see how we make a totally plant based Soupe au Pistou, with an economical variation too.
La Soupe Au Pistou
1 - 2 cups of podded beans
2 cups of fresh green beans, sliced (we used purple)
2 - 4 medium courgettes (zucchini) sliced and diced
4 medium carrots washed and sliced if organically grown, otherwise peeled and sliced
2 - 4 medium potatoes, scrubbed and diced if organically grown, otherwise peeled and diced
2 medium leeks, washed and slice the entire leek (not just the white part) or 2 medium onions diced
2-3 chopped tomatoes, any variety
2 - 2.5 litres of fresh cold water (filtered to be free of chlorine and other artificial water additives - important!)
1/3 cup of raw cashew nuts *see below for economical variation
1 cup of loosely packed basil leaves (I also add a few carrot tops as they add an amazing green colour to Pistou – YES you can eat carrot tops)
4 - 8 cloves of garlic (we have used more and also less, depending on supplies)
1 TB miso OR 2 TB nutritional yeast (we do not tolerate yeast and so use miso)
1 - 2 tsp of lemon juice if tolerated (if not tolerated, a splash of apple cider vinegar)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil (this quantity is not a typing mistake - the olive oil imparts a richness which is very satisfying and is actually healthful for stimulating the gall bladder to produce new bile, due to the bitter component in the extra virgin olive oil)
1 tsp salt (less or more to taste if necessary)
To make La Soupe: Put all ingredients including water into a large soup pot, mostly cover with the lid, turn heat to high and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for approximately 20 minutes until the podded beans, potato and carrots are tender. Turn off heat and keep lid on, ready to ladle the green luscious Pistou into La Soupe.
To make Pistou: Put all ingredients into high speed blender and blend on high until green and fragrant.
OR if using a food processor, stick blender or mortar and pestle you will need to FIRST SOAK the cashews for one hour in hot water, then process, or stick blend or use your mortar and pestle to produce a sauce like texture. If I was using a mortar and pestle, I would begin by mashing the garlic cloves and then little by little adding in the other ingredients, a more rustic, crushed texture would be beautiful!
Grand Finale: Gently ladle the Pistou into the waiting La Soupe. Gentle stir and call your diners to the table.
Serve with some kind of bread. Our favourite recipe just now is Buckwheat Bread, completely grain free, dairy free and can be egg free too.
* Economical option: Cashew nuts are pricey if you have not yet found a buying group or co-op to join. Honestly this is the best way I have found to buy organic foods in the three countries we have lived in. So, the economical variation is to use Sunflower Seeds! Your Pistou will not be quite as bright, but delicious nevertheless! Organically grown as usual is your best choice.
Thank you for your time, and I hope you may gain some strength, nutrition and spiritual uplift today from La Soupe au Pistou!
Carrier, R. (1992). Feasts of Provence. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London.
Green Med Info. (n.d.). View the Evidence: 5 Abstracts with Basil: Sweet Research. Retrieved from http://www.greenmedinfo.com/substance/basil-sweet
Mercola. (2016). Food Facts: What is Basil Good for? Retrieved from https://foodfacts.mercola.com/basil.html
Posted: Wed 01 May 2019