Soupe au Pistou
4 ounces dry navy beans
1 lb tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 small carrots, peeled and diced
1 small potato, peeled and diced
1 leek, white and tender green part, quartered and diced
Bouquet garni- 8 parsley stems, pinch thyme, bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 lb green beans, ends snapped, cut crosswise into 1/2" lengths
2 small zucchini, diced
3 ounces small elbow macaroni
5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 cups fresh basil leaves, washed and dried
3/4 cup grated Reggiano Parmesan
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Soak dry beans in plenty of water for 4 hours or overnight. Drain and put in a large pot with 6 cups water. Bring to a boil, turn down and simmer until tender about 40 to 50 minutes. Drain.
Put the tomatoes, onions, carrots, potatoes, leeks and bouquet garni in the pot with the cooked beans and 10 cups water. Add salt and pepper and bring to a boil and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.
Add the green beans, zucchini and macaroni and cook another 15 minutes. Discard the bouquet garni. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
To prepare the pistou; Put the garlic, basil, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor. Work in some of the grated Parmigiano until you have a very stiff paste, adding oil and grinding in more Parmigiano to bring the consistency to a barely fluid paste. Alternately this can also be made with a mortar and pestle.
Ladle the hot soup into bowls and pass the pistou separately.