I love to cook and find new recipes, so one of the most enjoyable afternoons I spent with Evelyn (the woman I am staying with in Provence) was the afternoon we spent making a Provençal classic: Soupe Au Pistou.
The soup consists of red coco beans, white coco beans and chopped vegetables: flat green beans, string beans, zucchini, onions, carrots, potatoes (or pasta), along with a celery stalk (removed after cooking), salt and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer until all the vegetables are cooked.
Pistou, or pistou sauce, is a cold Provençal sauce made by pureeing lots of cloves of garlic and tons of fresh basil, a cooked peeled tomato, parmesan and olive oil. It is somewhat similar to pesto, although it lacks pine nuts.
Just before serving add the Pistou and serve hot. The amazing aroma will be a pleasant part of the experience for your senses… and it tastes good, too.