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Provençale soupe au pistou is a humble and hearty vegetable, bean and pasta soup. Pistou is a coarse puree of basil, garlic, cheese and olive oil similar to Italian pesto. It's used as a finishing touch to infuse the soup with heady herbal notes and bold garlickiness. Pinto beans might seem an odd choice for a Mediterranean dish, but we liked how they retained their shape and cooked up with a firm yet creamy texture. Dried beans are far superior to canned here, but they do require soaking, so plan accordingly. Before adding the pasta to the soup, we toast it in extra-virgin olive oil to bring out a wheaty, nutty flavor in the pasta.
ounces (1¼ cups) dried pinto beans
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
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