Traditional recipes

Chicken Soup au Pistou recipe

Chicken Soup au Pistou recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Poultry
  • Chicken
  • Popular chicken
  • Easy chicken
  • Quick chicken

This a very savoury and hearty chicken soup, hope you will enjoy it!! Pistou is popular in Provence and similar to pesto in flavour, made from garlic, fresh basil and olive oil. This recipe uses prepared pesto for convenience!

18 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 225g boneless skinless chicken breast fillets, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 750ml chicken stock
  • 1 (400g) tin whole plum tomatoes
  • 1 (400g) tin cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 large potato, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 125g frozen green beans
  • 4 tablespoons prepared pesto
  • grated Parmesan to serve (optional)

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:35min ›Ready in:45min

  1. Place the olive oil in a large saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until hot. Add chicken; cook and stir about 5 minutes or until chicken is browned. Add onion; cook and stir 2 minutes.
  2. Add chicken stock, undrained tomatoes, beans, carrots, potato, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, stirring to break up tomatoes. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add green beans and cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  3. Ladle soup into bowls, top each with 1 teaspoon pesto and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Recently viewed

Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(18)

Reviews in English (11)


This is an excellent soup. I think the pesto adds a wonderful savory dimension so unless you dislike pesto, be sure to add a dollop to the top before you serve and then stir it in. I made only some minor additions to the recipe, and that was about a 1/4 tsp. of dried thyme and a Tbsp. of good quality margarine(watching calories). The latter contributed richness to the soup without alot of added fat. I'm going to try this again and make it with roasted chicken, although it's very good as is. Husband liked it too.-27 Oct 2002


This soup was greatly enjoyed by my 82-year old father-in-law. I used canned green beans and omitted the pesto.-14 Apr 2000

by p mom

Great soup--quick, easy, and husband and 2 young sons love it. We're not crazy about pesto, so leave it out along with the green beans and sometimes substitute pasta (bowties, alphabet) for the potatoe. Wonderful served with garlic cheese bread!-04 Dec 2003

Recipe Summary

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 zucchini (about 1/2 pound), quartered lengthwise, cut crosswise into thin slices
  • 1/4 pound green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1 pound boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 1/2 cups drained canned diced tomatoes (one 15-ounce can)
  • 1 quart canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup drained and rinsed canned white beans, preferably cannellini
  • 1/2 cup elbow macaroni or other small pasta
  • 3 small cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves

In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini, green beans, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes longer.

Add the potatoes, tomatoes, broth, and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer 15 minutes. Add the beans, pasta, and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Continue simmering until the vegetables are tender and the pasta is cooked through, about 10 minutes longer. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, puree the garlic, basil, and the remaining 4 tablespoons oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir 1/4 cup of this pistou into the soup. Serve the soup topped with the remaining pistou.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large leek, white and light green parts only, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup cooked white beans
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup diced zucchini
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup mini shells, ditalini or other small pasta, cooked al dente
  • 1/4 cup homemade or store-bought pesto

In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil. Add the leek, shallot and carrot, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the stock, white beans, salt, pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, zucchini and peas, and cook until those vegetables are just tender, 5 to 8 minutes longer. Stir in the pasta and pesto and serve immediately.

Serves 6

Drain and transfer the soaked beans to a medium pot. Cover the beans with chicken stock and about 2 cups of water and add the slice of ham. Place the thyme and parsley sprigs on a piece of cheesecloth along with the peppercorns and bay leaf. Gather the corners to make a sachet and secure with kitchen twine. Add the sachet to the beans and bring the beans to a boil over medium high heat lower heat and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes.

When the beans are tender, add the onion and carrots to the beans and continue simmering until the carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Then add the green beans, zucchini and tomatoes and continue cooking the soup for another 10 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, place the garlic and basil leaves in a small food processor or a blender and puree with olive oil until a smooth paste forms. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the basil puree. Serve immediately with crusty bread.

Related Video

Vegetable soups usually call for a base, then a second "set" of vegetables so they aren't mush. So, I didn't think this was too much work at all & divisible as a previous person suggested. I pureed all the vegetables from the base & added them, plus pureed 1/2 can of the beans. If I had a parmesan rind, I would have added that in at the end. I added diced yellow pepper, but otherwise followed the recipe as written. It was delicious. I don't cook w/ much salt, but I added some to the base.

I have been making this recipe for too long to not quite a review. I always puree all of the vegetables for the stock. I like to add sweet potatoes or purple to make it fun. I don't do the pistou and my relatives love it. Takes time but well worth the effort. I never thought I liked fennel, as I don't like licorice, but I believe it makes the recipe

I followed this recipe exactly as stated & didn't like it. I ended up throwing it out. I

I thought this soup was really good but I do agree that it is tons of work. I didn't even puree all the veggie and add them back into the stock and I still felt like I was making this soup forever.

WAYYYYYYYYYYY too much work! Tastes great, very flavorful but you can get the same result with another recipe in less than half the time!

I followed the recipe exactly and thought it too much work for the result, which was just okay. My family said they would eat it again, but would not miss it if I did not make it. Perhaps it would be a good base.

A great foundation to expand upon. I've added escarole, dried mushrooms (the water you used to reconstitute is a great addition), campanelle instead of the beans, i've used it as my foundation for chicken noodle as well. All are amazing. Quite a few people have suggested adding parmigiano-reggiano to the final simmer. While I would totally recommend this, if you happen to purchase your cheese in a wedge, or another fashion that includes the "rind", I would suggest adding that to the final simmer. You get a concentrated parmesan flavor, without adulterating the clarity of the broth.

While I used this recipe as a good fondation to built upon and it worked out great, Iɽ like to specify that Pistou is not Pesto - it is tomato based and does not have pine nuts or cheese. In Provence you are likely to taste this wonderful soup with the addition of cut green beans (french beans) and diced green and yellow zucchinis. A pistou can be made with 6 medium garlic cloves, 6 ripe tomatoes, 4 to 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 30 fresh basil leaves. It is pureed in a blender with enough oil to make a smooth, thick but fluid paste. Some of the Pistou can be added to the soup, while the rest can be passed around in a bowl for eveyone to season to taste.

One of my first 'keepers' from Epicurious a couple years ago. It's hard to get a completely vegetarian soup that meat-eaters love - this is it. I've always pureed the stock, upped the garlic content, used a red bell pepper in the stock (gives it a sweetness that it needs), and made my own pesto. Two things that make or break this soup: the thyme (HAS to be fresh) and the olive oil. French or northern Italian (low acid, less than 0.5%) oils are great, but go Greek or southern Italian and the flavors don't meld. Another alternative to giving the soup more richness is to add a old Parmesano-Reggiano rind to the stock. It thickens, salts, and gives it some 'oomph'.

I gave this recipe four forks because it is the best vegetable soup I've ever made. I did, as previous posters suggested, puree all the veggies from the stock. I also added salt along the way and finally, I added a bit of parmesan cheese for people to put on top. Delicious but time consuming.

This soup is fine, but no better than any other bean and veggie soup, onto which you might dollop some pesto.

Definitely add the pesto, it makes the soup! I also pureed all the vegetables. Added salt and pepper. Also put a parmesan rind in for the final simmer (45 mins) to help add flavor.

I made this for my vegan sister, the only thing I changed was to not add the cheese to the pesto, I made my own did not use premade. It was easy and delicious!

Very tasty & very easy. I, too, pureed all of the stock veggies with an immersion blender, then continued with the recipe. I did add salt & freshly ground pepper. I had my own pesto that I made previously from a Mario Batali recipe. I found that I needed to go light on the pesto so it didn't over power the soup. I thought the soup was great even without the pesto. I served it with a spinach salad & some great crusty whole grain bread. Yum! By the way, I doubled the recipe on the stock, froze 1/2 half of it for later, then made a single recipe of the actual soup. There was enough soup for three hungry people one night, two the next night, & there's still enough left over for at least two more servings.

This soup makes a wonderful base from which to make other dishes you know, have something practical in the freezer and be able to dress it up however you like-- it's healthy and satiating. I did read the reviews other readers posted, so I added carrots, red peppers and a dash of cinamon to the base. I also pureed all of the vegetables for a heartier, thicker, healthier soup, but only used about half the final stock/puree mixture and saved the rest for another dish. I also left out the parsley purposefully, to allow for versatility-- see serving suggestions. In regards to salt and pepper, note that there is no indication on the recipe. The best thing to do is salt and pepper as you go, layer by layer in order to develop your base. TO SERVE: chopped italian parseley (1.5 tbspns) and 1.5 tbspns of basil at the bottom of your bowl. Serve hot soup over the bowl/herbs and perhaps some more red pepper flakes. This should do it for more pronounced flavor. I actually had some tonight with chopped up haas avocado and slivered red onions.

A wonderful, hearty soup. I agree with other posters that it was a good idea to purify all of the stock vegetables after cooking to give the broth more body. I also added chopped leeks with the second batch of vegetables and sundried tomato- basil flavored chicken sausage at the end. A great soup I'll make again.

An excellent soup to add to my collection. It definitely needs some salt. Because my son likes very brothy soup, I used the entire batch of pureed vegetables with a large can of chicken broth and the extra tomaotes & juice for a "second" soup. Also used just one can of cannelini beans and added 4 links of a veal and spinach sausage from Whole Foods (browned them with the soup portion veggies and then simmered in soup before cutting into slices. Yum!!

Very good soup, I agree with the tip to add some salt however. Definitely serve with the basil pistou, it made the dish.

Easy, healthy,tasty, and fabulous has become a family favorite.

This is a great soup recipe. This recipe may be my all-time favorite soup. If I could, I would give the recipe 10 forks. I did make one change to the recipe. The recipe calls you to reserve only half of the vegetables from the stock, and then pureeing them. I reserved all of the vegetables, making for a slightly thicker soup, which I enjoy.

Very flavorful - an addition of salt enhances the flavor. On the second night of this soup we added chicken-turkey sausage (Basil and Pesto flavor), and the soup became a keeper.

Iɽ give this 3.5 forks if possible. Very easy and delicious. I did cheat and add a little salt for flavor.

This was a wonderful light but warming soup, and easy to put together. Make sure to saute the vegetables long enough (for the soup, not the stock) - mine were still a bit too hard after 10 minutes of saute and 45 minutes of simmering.

Delicious!! I was hesitant to try this as the other Soupe Au Pistou recipe on this site received a negative review. I made the stock in the morning (so glad I decided to double it so I'll have it in the freezer next time) and the soup was a breeze to throw together later. I've never used fennel before and the aroma was a wonderful experience! The flavor of this soup is incredible. I drizzled with the olive oil instead of pesto and served with French bread. And for my non-vegetarian family members I added a few chunks of chicken. Iɽ definitely recommend this.

How To Make Soupe Au Pistou

First Cut Up Your Veggies

  • You&rsquoll want to cut the onion, garlic and fennel (or celery) right off. Then while you are sauteeing them, you can chop up the seasonal veggies and shred your potatoes.
  • I use shredded potatoes so they will cook super fast and basically break down into the broth of the soup to give it body and thicken it naturally without any additional thickener. When you shred them, hang on to the liquid that they give off. You&rsquoll add that too!

Sauté The Onion and Garlic with the Fennel

Here is where you&rsquore going to get a ton of added depth of flavor from your soup. I tried making this without sautéing the onion and garlic and the whole recipe fell completely flat! So take my word for it. You&rsquoll just want to cook the vegetables in the pot, this is the pot I use, and make sure you see some darkening before you continue. The onions in particular, because they are high in natural sugar will brown more quickly. Once you see the browning, you&rsquoll be ready for the next step.

Add The Seasoning To Bloom the Flavors

Next add in the dried herbs and smoked paprika to bloom their flavors. The heat will start the activate it and the flavors will carry in the oil. I also add in salt and pepper at this point.

Deglaze with White Wine

The wine will pick up any bits of fond (browned tasty bits) off the bottom of the soup pot. And as I said above it helps to really punch up the flavor of the soup itself by balancing the tastes.

Add in the Broth and Other Ingredients

  • After the wine has reduced, add in the broth. I also add in the rest of the vegetables now. That means either your combo of winter veggies, the cabbage and kale, or your combo of summer veggies, zucchini and green beans. They are fast cooking veggies, so once the soup comes up to a simmer, you&rsquore almost done!! You can also add in the shredded potatoes now which since they&rsquore shredded will cook just as fast.
  • Note: make sure you add as much of the potato liquid as possible. That has starch in it which also helps to thicken the soup.
  • If you are a tomato eater, I would recommend adding a couple small diced tomatoes at this point too.

Simmer Until The Vegetables Are Tender

I am a big fan of crisp tender veggies, especially green beans, but in the case of Soupe Au Pistou, I actually let them cook until they are tender. I find that the texture is really comforting and pleasing this way. But if you like a crunchier green bean (or kale) then you can cook the soup a little less at this point.

Mash Canned Beans For More Thick Texture

One of the things I missed about the texture of the soup au pistou made with dried beans is that thick cooking liquid with all the bean starch in it. The potatoes do help to make up for that, but I also found that adding in a can of mashed beans really gave the soup the same slow cooked texture. I also add in one can of drained whole beans too!

Serve With Pesto or Pistou

Alright, I know that pesto and pistou are not the same, but friends, I am just trying to get dinner on the table for my busy family, so I went with purchased pesto here. If you want to try making Pistou from scratch, you can use this recipe. I tried it. It was good. Whichever you choose, just dollop a spoonful in the center of each bowl and let the person eating the soup, swirl it in as they want. It really livens up the tastes and flavors!

1. To make the poached chicken, wash the chicken briefly under cold running water, remove the neck and giblets and trim any pockets of fat, then pat dry with paper towels. Put the chicken in a large stockpot, add the carrot, onion, celery and parsley stalks. Cover with cold water, bring slowly to the boil and simmer gently for 40 minutes, skimming any scum from the surface occasionally. Turn off the heat and cool the chicken in the stock for at least 1 hour. Remove the chicken, then strain and reserve the stock. Cool, then skim the fat from the surface. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and bones and shred the flesh into bite-sized pieces.

2. To make the parsley pistou, crush the garlic and parsley to a paste using a mortar and pestle. Season to taste and gradually incorporate the oil.

3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over low heat, add the onions, celery, carrots and fennel, cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Add the garlic and herbs and stir for 2 minutes.

4. Add 3 litres of the reserved stock, the rice and pasta. Bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 8 minutes.

5. Remove the herb sprigs from the soup. Add 3 cups of shredded chicken (reserve the remaining chicken for another use), the spinach and peas and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until the rice and pasta are just cooked.

6. Ladle the soup into bowls, stir in a spoonful of parsley pistou, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano and serve with crusty bread.


  • Serving Size: 1 (709.7 g)
  • Calories 499.4
  • Total Fat - 30.4 g
  • Saturated Fat - 13.2 g
  • Cholesterol - 119.4 mg
  • Sodium - 953.4 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 23 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 4.9 g
  • Sugars - 5 g
  • Protein - 35.7 g
  • Calcium - 599.5 mg
  • Iron - 2.7 mg
  • Vitamin C - 52.2 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.2 mg

Step 1

In a 4-5 qt. heavy pot, heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium flame. Add the leek, celery, carrot, and garlic, along with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables brown and stick to bottom of pot, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 2

Meanwhile, wash the chard and remove the leaves from the stems. Chop the leaves and stems roughly, but keep them separate.

Step 3

When the vegetables are ready, add the potatoes and chard STEMS to the pot. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the potatoes begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

Step 4

Add the water and bouillon cube and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up the brown bits.

Step 5

Stir in the pasta, chard leaves, broccoli and simmer, uncovered, until pasta is al dente and the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Step 6

Meanwhile, make the pistou. Place the canned tomato, basil, parsley and garlic in a mini blender or food processor and whirl until it's small flecks. Add the olive oil and parmesan cheese and process until combined. You should still be able to see specks of the parsley and basil. Set aside.

Step 7

Remove the soup from the heat and add in about half the pistou, reserving about 4 heaping teaspoons. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Step 8

To serve, ladle soup into individual serving bowls and top with a dollop (about a teaspoon) of the pistou.

Low Calorie Veggetable Soup

Today, I'll show you my version of this incredible easy, low calorie veggie soup. It's delicious and absolutely needs to be on your spring and summer menu.

For my Pistou soup recipe I've made a different kind of pesto. Despite that basil is a most commonly used pesto ingredient, this time I used dill, garlic and olive oil.

I think it turned out refreshingly delicious.

If you don't have dill, you can use other herbs or greens, such as parsley, spinach or arugula.

If you want more French-inspired soup recipes, try my Easy French Onion Soup. It's amazingly delicious!

Easy Vegetable Soup Recipe: Soup au Pistou

This simple and satisfying French bistro classic is home-style cooking at its best. Courtesy of The French Country Table by Laura Washburn, the key to the dish is the pistou, which is similar to pesto, and is made of garlic, basil, and olive oil.

Serves 4 to 6


1 small fennel bulb, quartered, cored, and chopped

8 oz. new potatoes, chopped

2 tomatoes, skinned, seeded, and chopped

2 quarts vegetable or chicken stock

2 cups canned cannellini beans, drained

2 cups canned kidney beans, drained

6 oz. green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 oz. spaghetti, broken into pieces

1 2/3 cups finely grated cheese (aged Gouda or Parmesan)

Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pistou Ingredients

Leaves from a small bunch of basil

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or casserole dish. Add the onion, fennel, and zucchini and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until browned. Add the potatoes, tomatoes, stock, and thyme. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes.

2. Add the cannellini and kidney beans and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes more. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add the green beans and the spaghetti and cook for about 10 minutes more, until the pasta is tender. Cover and let stand. Ideally, the soup should rest for at least a few hours before serving, or make one day in advance and refrigerate. (Do not make the pistou until you are ready to serve it is best fresh, and the basil and garlic should not be cooked.)

3. To make the pistou, put the garlic, basil, and oil in a small food processor and blend until well chopped. You can also make it using a mortar and pestle, starting with the garlic and finishing with the oil, added gradually. It is more authentic, but I've never been very good at this method.

4. To serve, heat the soup and pass round the pistou and cheese, to be stirred in to taste. The soup can also be served at room temperature.

Editor's Review and Tips for Preparation:

Being obedient to Laura Washburn's instructions, I tasted my soup after I simmered the beans. Oh dear. So. ordinary. Okay, toss in some sea salt, grind the pepper. Not much help. Still just your average vegetable soup &mdash or, to be more precise, your average Provençal version of minestrone. Stir in the pistou and the cheese. Ah, oui, oui, voilà, c'est magnifique! Astonishing how this simple condiment (a pared-down French version of pesto, but more garlicky) can lift mundane ingredients to stellar heights. I was cautious with the first bowl &mdash a little dollop will do &mdash but downright profligate with the second. Combined with the nutty richness of the cheese, it gave the broth a heady fragrance and a full-bodied flavor that I couldn't get enough of. Washburn's soupe au pistou is a savory, wholesome, satisfying, one-pot revelation. &mdashBarbara King

Watch the video: Gute Hühnerbrühe selber kochen. Omas Rezept für beste Hühnersuppe (September 2021).