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Soupe au pistou is a humble, hearty vegetable, bean and pasta soup from Provence. We learned our version from home cook Agnes Daragon, a Harley-driving nurse who teaches country dancing and grew up in her mother's restaurant. The soup takes its name from the pistou—a heady, pesto-like puree of basil, garlic, cheese and olive oil—that garnish individual bowlfuls. To get the soup on the table in well under an hour, we opt for canned cannellini beans as well as store-bought pesto, but feel free to use homemade, if you like. We’ve found that supermarket refrigerated pesto sold near the fresh pasta typically has brighter, fresher flavor than shelf-stable jarred brands. Serve the soup with hunks of crusty bread.
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
medium yellow onion, chopped
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