This is not the first time I’ve been excited about a recipe, or cookbook, by Lynn Alley. Recently, Alley’s delicious recipe for Enchilada Soup from “50 Simple Soups for the Slow Cooker” was highlighted, and today it’s Alley’s Provençal-inspired recipe for Soupe au Pistou, from “Cooking with Herbs: 50 Simple Recipes for Fresh Flavor” that has my attention. Chockfull of cannelloni beans and garden fresh vegetables like green beans, zucchini and tomatoes, the slow cooker-made soup is finished with a drizzle of homemade basil pistou. (Pistou is similar to pesto – sans the pine nuts). If you can get your hands on some “real” Parmesan cheese for making Alley’s pistou, treat yourself to a hunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Although Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese is expensive, you only need one-half cup (or two ounces) for the pistou, and it’s well worth every penny you’ll pay for it. When finished with the cheese, save the rind, for simmering in soup – if not for Soupe au Pistou, then for another time. (The rind can be sealed in a zip-lock freezer bag and placed in the freezer, where it will last for months.) For purchase information for either “Cooking with Herbs: 50 Simple Recipes for Fresh Flavor” or “50 Simple Soups for the Slow Cooker,” visit the publisher’s website at www.andrewsmcmeel.com.
Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.