Fresh Soupe au Pistou Recipe – The Perfect Bowl From French Cuisine

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Indulge in the rustic charm of our Provençal Paradise Soupe au Pistou, where garden-fresh vegetables meet the aromatic brilliance of basil pistou. Each spoonful is a vibrant mélange of textures and flavors, with a medley of beans, pasta, and vegetables simmered to perfection. The dollop of fragrant pistou transforms the soup into a symphony of herby goodness, capturing the essence of sun-kissed Provence fields. This hearty bowl is a tribute to French countryside cooking, promising a nourishing and flavorful escape in every bite.

Immerse yourself in the culinary traditions of the sun-kissed Provençal countryside with a bowl of soupe au pistou recipes. This heartwarming staple, rooted in the gastronomic heritage of Southern France, beautifully marries garden-fresh vegetables and aromatic herbs in an infusion of robust flavors. 

Simplicity is its charm, an affirmation of the power held in humble ingredients handled with care. Each spoonful embodies a summer’s bounty, a tapestry of green beans, zucchini, tomatoes, and potatoes harmonizing with the pièce de résistance – the pistou sauce. 

Soupe au Pistou Recipe

Pistou is France’s answer to Italy’s pesto – a vibrant blend of garlic, basil, and olive oil. The alchemy happens when this delectable sauce mingles with the vegetable-laden broth, transforming a simple soup into a celebration of Provençal cuisine. 

Soupe au Pistou is a cherished tradition, an exploration of flavor, and a testament to the poetry of French home cooking.

What Is Soupe Au Pistou?

Soupe au Pistou is a traditional French soup from the Provençal region, specifically the area around Nice. It’s a hearty, chunky vegetable soup, made particularly distinctive by the addition of ‘pistou,’ a sauce that’s comparable to Italian pesto but without the pine nuts.

The soup usually contains fresh summer vegetables like tomatoes, zucchinis, green beans, potatoes, white or kidney beans, and sometimes pasta. Ingredients can vary based on what’s seasonally available, and the soup often serves as a way to use up surplus garden produce.

The pistou sauce is made from garlic, fresh basil, and olive oil, traditionally ground together in a mortar and pestle to form a smooth, aromatic sauce. Some versions also include Parmesan or similar hard cheese.

This soup is served with a dollop of pistou sauce on top, which is stirred in just before eating to release a burst of fresh, herbaceous flavor. It’s a delicious, warming dish that’s full of the flavors of summer in Provence.

Soupe au Pistou Recipe

Can You Vary The Soupe Au Pistou With Other Ingredients?

  • Keto The main components of Soupe au Pistou that aren’t keto-friendly are the beans and pasta. To make a keto version, eliminate these and increase the quantity of low-carb veggies like zucchini and bell peppers. You could also add more hearty ingredients like chicken or sausage.
  • Paleo To make the soup Paleo, you’d need to remove the beans and pasta, similar to the keto version. For more substance, you can add other Paleo-friendly vegetables or lean meats.
  • Gluten-Free Making Soupe au Pistou gluten-free is straightforward – replace the traditional pasta with a gluten-free variety. Ensure your broth is also gluten-free, as some brands contain gluten.
  • Whole30 For a Whole30-compliant version, remove the beans and pasta. Instead, add more vegetables or consider adding some compliant protein like chicken. Make sure the pesto does not contain cheese, and be cautious about your broth, as many commercial varieties are not Whole30 compliant.
Soupe au Pistou Recipe

Recipe Directions

  1. Combine diced zucchini, potato, carrot, onion, canned tomatoes, and vegetable broth in a pot.
  2. Bring to a boil, then simmer covered for 20 minutes.
  3. Stir in green beans, peas, and orzo; simmer uncovered for 10 more minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Ladle soup into bowls and top with pesto or pistou.
  6. In a small Dutch oven or stock pot, combine the zucchini, potato, carrot, onion, canned tomatoes, and vegetable broth.
  7. Place the pot over high heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
  8. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and let it cook for 20 minutes.
  9. After 20 minutes, stir in the green beans, peas, and orzo (or your choice of small pasta).
  10. Allow the soup to simmer, uncovered, for another 10 minutes, until the orzo is cooked through.
  11. Taste the soup and season it with kosher salt and fresh black pepper as needed.
  12. Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls.
  13. Top each bowl with a tablespoon of the prepared pesto or pistou.
  14. Encourage your guests to stir the pesto or pistou into the soup while it’s hot to fully integrate the flavor.
  15. Serve your Soupe au Pistou with slices of crusty bread on the side for a complete, satisfying meal.
Soupe au Pistou Recipe

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings


  • Meat-Lovers: Add cooked chicken, sausage, or even seafood like shrimp or mussels to make the soup more substantial.
  • Spicy Version: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a diced jalapeño to the soup for a bit of heat.


  • Additional Vegetables: You can add any seasonal vegetables of your choice such as bell peppers, spinach, or squash.
  • Beans: Different types of beans can be added to increase the protein content and make the soup heartier. Chickpeas or cannellini beans would work well.


  • Cheese: Sprinkle with Parmesan or crumbled goat cheese before serving.
  • Herbs: Freshly chopped parsley, basil, or thyme add extra flavor and color.
  • Croutons: Homemade croutons add a delightful crunch.
Soupe au Pistou Recipe

Can I Make Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

Slow Cooker

  • Add the zucchini, potato, carrot, onion, tomatoes, and broth into your slow cooker.
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
  • About 30 minutes before you’re ready to serve, stir in the green beans, peas, and orzo.
  • Cook until the pasta is tender.
  • Season with salt and pepper, then serve with a spoonful of pistou and your chosen garnishes.

Instant Pot

  • Using the sauté function, cook the onion until translucent, then add the other vegetables (excluding the beans and peas) and broth.
  • Seal the Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for about 8 minutes.
  • Use the quick-release method to depressurize the pot.
  • Switch back to the sauté function, add the green beans, peas, and orzo, and cook until the pasta is done (typically about 8-10 minutes).
  • Season with salt and pepper, and serve with a spoonful of pistou and any additional garnishes.
Soupe au Pistou Recipe

Can I Use Store Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?

Both store-bought and homemade broths can work well in Soupe au Pistou. The choice depends on your time, taste preferences, and dietary restrictions.

  • Store-bought Broth

This is a great time-saver and can still result in a delicious soup. When shopping for store-bought broth, try to find a high-quality brand with minimal additives and preservatives. 

Low-sodium versions are also a good option, as they allow you to control the salt content of your soup more precisely.

  • Homemade Broth

Making your own broth can be more time-consuming, but it allows you to control the flavor profile and the ingredients that go into it. Homemade broth is often more flavorful than store-bought versions and contains no preservatives or artificial flavors. 

Plus, if you make it in large batches, you can freeze the leftovers to use in future recipes.

Soupe au Pistou Recipe

How To Serve?

  • Pistou on the Side: Traditionally, a dollop of pistou is added to each bowl just before serving. You could also serve the pistou on the side, allowing guests to add it themselves according to their taste.
  • With Crusty Bread: This soup pairs wonderfully with a slice of warm, crusty bread for dipping. Consider serving a baguette or a rustic country loaf on the side.
  • Warm Bowls: Pre-warming your bowls can keep the soup hot for longer. Rinse them with hot water before ladling the soup in.
  • Garnish: A final garnish can make a big visual impact. Consider a sprig of fresh basil, a drizzle of good-quality olive oil, or even a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan (for non-vegan versions).
  • Pairing: Consider what else you’re serving with the meal. A light salad or a charcuterie board complements the soup nicely.
  • Setting: Lastly, consider your table setting. A simple arrangement of fresh flowers, a beautiful tablecloth, or some candles can enhance the dining experience.
How To Serve?

Perfect Side Dishes

  • Fresh Baguette: A warm, crusty baguette is a traditional accompaniment to this Provençal soup. It’s perfect for sopping up the delicious broth.
  • Green Salad: A light, crisp green salad with a simple vinaigrette can be a nice contrast to the hearty soup. Try mixed greens with a lemon and olive oil dressing for a Mediterranean touch.
  • Cheese Board: A selection of French cheeses, with some olives and grapes, could complement the flavors of the soup and create a well-rounded meal.
  • Roasted Vegetables: A side of roasted vegetables such as bell peppers, eggplant, or zucchini would align well with the flavors of the soup and enhance the Mediterranean theme.
  • Quiche: A light quiche Lorraine or a vegetable quiche could add some protein to the meal and complement the soup nicely.
  • Fruit Salad or Tart: For dessert, consider a fresh fruit salad or a classic French tart, like a tarte aux pommes (apple tart) or a tarte au citron (lemon tart).
Perfect Side Dishes

Storage And Make Ahead

  • Store properly: Refrigerate soupe au pistou in an airtight container for up to 3 days to preserve freshness.
  • Freeze for longer storage: Portion leftovers into freezer-safe containers or bags for up to 3 months.
  • Reheat gently: Warm the soup over low heat on the stovetop, stirring occasionally, to prevent scorching.
  • Make ahead: Prepare the soup base without adding the pistou (herb paste) and store it in the refrigerator. Add the pistou just before serving to retain its vibrant flavor.
  • Allow flavors to meld: For optimal taste, make the soup a day in advance to allow the flavors to develop fully.
Storage And Make Ahead

What Can We Do With Leftovers? 

Leftover Soupe au Pistou can be repurposed in several delicious ways:

  • Lunch or Dinner the Next Day: The most straightforward option is simply reheating the soup for a meal the next day. The flavors will have had more time to meld together, making the soup even tastier.
  • Pasta Sauce: You can reduce the soup on the stovetop to thicken it and use it as a pasta sauce. Just add freshly cooked pasta to the thickened soup and toss it all together.
  • Grain Bowls: Add some leftover soup to cooked grains like quinoa, couscous, or rice for a quick, wholesome grain bowl.
  • Frittata Base: Use the soup as the vegetable component in a frittata. Combine with beaten eggs and bake until set.
  • Freeze For Later: If you won’t be able to use the leftovers within a few days, freeze them for a future easy meal. Just remember to freeze the soup without the pistou and make fresh pistou when you’re ready to serve the soup.


  • Fresh ingredients: Use ripe tomatoes, fragrant basil, and quality olive oil for authentic flavors.
  • Pesto perfection: Make fresh pistou with garlic, basil, olive oil, and Parmesan for a vibrant finish.
  • Don’t overcook: Simmer vegetables until just tender to preserve their texture and nutrients.
  • Customize veggies: Add seasonal vegetables like zucchini, green beans, or potatoes for variation.
  • Serve with flair: Top each bowl with a dollop of pistou and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan for a flavorful touch.
  • Enjoy with crusty bread: Serve alongside crusty bread for a satisfying meal.
Fresh Soupe au Pistou Recipe - The Perfect Bowl From French Cuisine

Fresh Soupe au Pistou Recipe – The Perfect Bowl From French Cuisine

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Course: Soup Recipes


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Soupe au Pistou is a vibrant, hearty soup hailing from Provence, France, celebrated for its robust flavor and nutrient-rich composition. It’s a symphony of fresh vegetables like zucchini, carrots, and beans, simmered together in a savory broth, accompanied by pasta, all crowned with a dollop of pistou. 

Ingredients LIst

  • 1 1 Zucchini (Diced)

  • 1 1 Yukon Gold Or Red-Skinned Potato (Diced (Do Not Peel))

  • 1 1 Carrot (Diced)

  • 1 1 Onion (Small, Diced)

  • 8 oz 8 Canned Chopped Tomatoes

  • 5 cups 5 Vegetable Broth

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 Green Beans (Cut Into 1/2-Inch Lengths)

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 Green Peas  (Frozen Peas Can Be Used)

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 Orzo Or Other Small Pasta

  • Kosher Salt (To Taste)

  • Fresh Black Pepper (To Taste)

  • 6 Tbsp 6 Pesto Or Pistou (Store-Bought Or Homemade)

  • Garnishing Table
  • Fresh Basil Leaves (Few Leaves)

  • Grated Parmesan Cheese(Optional, To Taste)

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Drizzle)

  • Freshly Cracked Pepper (Sprinkle, To Taste)

Step-By-Step Directions

  • In a small Dutch oven or stock pot, combine the diced zucchini, potato, carrot, onion, canned tomatoes, and vegetable broth.
  • Place the pot over high heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Once the soup is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and let it cook for 20 minutes, allowing the vegetables to soften and the flavors to develop.
  • After 20 minutes, stir in the green beans, peas, and orzo (or your choice of small pasta). Make sure to incorporate them well into the soup.
  • Allow the soup to simmer, uncovered, for another 10 minutes or until the orzo is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. This will ensure all the ingredients are cooked to perfection.
  • Taste the soup and season it with kosher salt and fresh black pepper according to your preference. Adjust the seasoning as needed to enhance the flavors.
  • Ladle the vegetable soup into individual serving bowls, making sure to distribute the vegetables and pasta evenly.
  • Top each bowl with a tablespoon of the prepared pesto or pistou. Drizzle it over the surface of the soup to add a burst of flavor and vibrant color.
  • Serve the vegetable soup hot, allowing the aromas to waft through the air. The combination of tender vegetables, flavorful broth, and the added pesto or pistou will make it a satisfying and delicious meal.
  • Cutting Board And Sharp Knife
  • Large Pot Or Dutch Oven
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Ladle
  • Blender Or Food Processor
  • Measuring Spoons And Cups


  • Quality of Ingredients: As with any dish that relies on simplicity, the quality of your ingredients will significantly impact the final result. Choose fresh vegetables and, if possible, make your own vegetable broth.
  • Pistou: Traditionally, pistou does not contain pine nuts or cheese as does Italian pesto. However, feel free to experiment with your own tastes and preferences.
  • Pasta Choice: Orzo is often used in this recipe, but you can substitute it with other small pasta shapes, such as ditalini or small shells.
  • Vegetable Variations: Feel free to adjust the type and quantity of vegetables based on what you have on hand or personal preferences. Just remember to keep the pieces of vegetables uniform in size to ensure even cooking.
  • Make-Ahead: Soupe au Pistou is an excellent candidate for making ahead. The flavors meld together beautifully when given time. If making ahead, add the pistou just before serving.
  • Leftovers: The soup reheats well, making it perfect for leftovers. If you plan to have leftovers, consider cooking the pasta separately and adding it to each bowl when serving. This way, the pasta will stay soft when you reheat the soup.
  • Serving Suggestions: Soupe au Pistou is traditionally served with slices of crusty bread, perfect for dipping into the flavorful broth.

Nutrition Table 

Nutrition Table 

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