Slow Cooker French Vegetable Soup with Pesto – delicious, meatless crock pot soup. Also known as Soupe au Pistou. Loaded with vegetables like carrots, potatoes, acorn squash, and cabbage. Topped with a fresh flavorful pesto and homemade croutons.
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Slow Cooker Soups
I don’t know about you, but as soon as the weather turns the least bit chilly, my thought turn immediately to soups. Soups are one of my favorite things about winter (well, and snow, and Christmas, and Christmas cookies, and boots, and scarves).
Every Sunday I make something in the slow cooker (crock pot as we used to call it in the day). Usually I make a soup. Soups are such a no brainer. Even the laziest of soups, always turns out tasty.
Soups are so easy to take in any direction that you would like, you can go Asian with a Slow Cooker Pho with Chicken, or put a Mexican spin on Chicken Noodle Soup, or go rich and creamy with a Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Soup.
Pesto and Croutons on Top
I found this recipe in Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Recipes for Entertaining. I liked the idea of the pesto and the croutons on top, little steps that I rarely do, and usually they make all the difference in the world!
It really does make a difference to do these extra steps. A fresh pesto garnish on soup really brings out the fresh flavors. Croutons add crunch and flavor.
French Vegetable Soup with Pesto
This soup is also known as Soupe au Pistou. Which is basically soup topped with pesto. It did not disappoint. It was loaded with such good veggie goodness that I didn’t even miss the meat!
French Vegetable Soup with Pesto
The soup is loaded with vegetables, you won't even miss the meat!
- 2 1/2 quarts water or chicken broth
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 leeks white parts only, sliced
- 28 oz can whole tomatoes undrained and crushed
- 4 carrots cut in 1 inch thick half-moons
- 1 acorn squash peeled, seeded, and cubed
- 2 red potatoes peeled and cubed
- 1 stalk fresh thyme, basil, and marjoram
- 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley
- 30 oz canned white beans drained and rinsed
- 2 stalks celery sliced
- 1/2 cup celery leaves choppe
- 1/4 pound green beans trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths
- 1/2 pound zucchini sliced 1/2 inch thick
- 1/3 head savoy cabbage cored and shredded
- salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 4 cloves garlic peeled
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons creme fraiche
- 6 slices rustic bread
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Place the water, onion, leeks, tomatoes and their juice, carrots, acorn squash, and potatoes in the slow cooker. Tie the fresh herbs and parsley together with kitchen twine to make a bouquet garni. Add the bouquet garni and beans to the cooker. Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours.
While it's cooking, make the pesto. Add the garlic to a food processor and chop until fine. Add the basil and Parmesan cheese. While the motor is running, slowly add the olive oil and then the creme fraiche. Process until smooth and then store in the fridge until ready.
When the vegetables are tender, add the celery, celery leaves, green beans, zucchini, and cabbage to the slow cooker. Cover and cook for an additional hour.
Make the croutons by heating the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Swirl the oil around to make sure it covers the bottom of the pan. Chop the bread into bite size pieces and add to skillet. Toast tossing the cubes, until well browned. Remove and let rest on a paper towel.
Remove the bouquet garni from the soup and season with salt and pepper. Serve with pesto and croutons on top.
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Update Notes: This was originally published in 2014 and has been updated for 2018.