White Bean Soup with Almond Pistou

Pistou is the French version of pesto and is, in essence the same thing, a concentrated paste of nuts, oil and herbs designed to enhance the flavor of any number of dishes.

Makes 4-5 servings

Ingredient List: 

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 shallots, finely diced
3 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
sea salt
2 stalks celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 cup cannellini beans
3 cups unsweetened organic almond or soy milk
1 cup spring or filtered water
1 bay leaf

½ cup blanched almonds
2 cloves fresh garlic, sliced
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
2 teaspoons sweet white miso
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon brown rice syrup

Step By Step Instructions: 

Place oil, shallots and garlic in a medium soup pot and turn heat to medium. When the shallots begin to sizzle, add a pinch of salt and sauté until the shallots are translucent, about 2 minutes, taking care not to over-brown the garlic. Stir in celery and sauté just until shiny with oil. Stir in carrots and sauté until shiny with oil. Spread vegetables over the bottom of the pan and top with beans. Add milk and water, cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and cook until the beans are quite soft, about 60 minutes.
While the soup cooks, make the pistou. Place all ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth.

To serve, remove bay leaf and ladle soup into individual bowls and swirl a hearty dollop of pistou into each bowl.

Cook’s Tip You can reduce the cooking time of the soup by using canned organic beans. The soup will cook in 20 minutes.