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I did ask her only two or three times. Do you want soup? No. Are you sure you don’t want soup? No! You usually like soup. No!! Okay, okay, no soup for you! And then, guess what happened?

My order of soup came, and she tried a spoonful. Mmm… good! Another spoonful. Then the bowl was transferred to her side of the table. By the end of the meal, I had not one taste of my soup.

I couldn’t blame her really. It was raining and cold and that bowl of soup did look mighty tempting. Plus, she’s my daughter, my only reason for living. And her brother, of course. And their dad.

***

[By the way, what do you think of starting a sentence with “And”? I had this discussion the other day with another blogger. We both like doing it because we are both rule-breakers. And because it feels good to once in a while thumb our noses at the grammar police. And that’s all I have to say about it. And if you see a lot of other grammar errors on my posts, you know why. Thumbing noses!

P.S. Kids, I don’t advise you to do this. Always listen to your teachers and do the right thing! Love, Mom.]

***

So, having been denied the soup at the restaurant yesterday, I cooked me a big pot of my own today. Plus, it’s still raining and cold. I shared the pot with my husband, son, and daughter. All three, my reasons for living!

soupe au pistou
Soupe au pistou
Get the last of your fresh basil from the garden for this, unless of course you don’t have one. Fresh is the key word. Where you get it from is second in importance.

The son looked at the bit of green in the middle of his bowl (the pistou) and was close to thumbing his nose at the whole thing. I ordered him to tuck in. No, I begged and implored. I was glad I did because he was, too. He liked the soup.

The recipe is inspired by David Lebovitz’s, except mine didn't include white beans. If it did, there would have been more nose-thumbing by the son, for sure. And no begging would have succeeded. Mine also used quinoa instead of pasta. This is not David's soup, I guess. But, hey, he too deviated from using only summer vegetables. Soupe au pistou is supposed to be a summer soup, using summer vegetables. He had leeks (which is more of a Fall crop) in his. So, I blessed mine completely "legit." Especially when it tasted so good!

For the soup
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
1 cup frozen peas
1 zucchini, diced
Green beans, cut into 1/2 inch length (about 1 1/2 cups)
Salt & pepper
7 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, or dried pasta, such as orzo or broken-up spaghetti
Fresh herbs (thyme & chives)

1. In a Dutch oven or large stockpot, heat the olive oil.
2. Add the onions and garlic, cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent.
3. Add the diced carrots and green beans. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are completely cooked. Add the vegetable/chicken stock, then the peas, zucchini, and pasta (if using), salt & pepper. If using cooked quinoa, add it at the last minute. Bring the soup to a boil, and simmer until pasta is cooked.
4. Add minced fresh herbs.
5. If you feel that the soup is too thick, thin it with extra stock or water.

For the pistou
1 garlic clove, peeled
Pinch of salt
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small tomato, peeled, seeded, and diced
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1. Pound the garlic to a paste in a mortar and pestle with the salt.
2. Coarsely tear the basil leaves and pound them into the garlic until the mixture is relatively smooth.
3. Drizzle in the olive oil slowly, while pounding, then pound in the tomato and cheese.

Serve soup with a spoonful of pistou and a sprinkling of cheese, and a piece of baguette.

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