Soup au Pistou with Goat Cheese Ravioli

Adapted by StarChefs.com
Yield: 4-6 servings
We think this is the perfect spring soup. The pistou, France's answer to pesto (but don't substitute pesto here), is added at the last minute for intense fresh-herb flavor. Keep the pistou recipe handy. You'll find it's a great condiment in its own right, drizzled over grilled vegetables or served alongside chicken, fish, or steak. The ravioli couldn't be easier to make, thanks to a secret shortcut: They're made with wonton wrappers.

INGREDIENTS:

Goat Cheese Ravioli
1 cup fresh goat cheese without a rind
¼ cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 egg yolks
Freshly ground white pepper to taste
½ teaspoon water
18 wonton wrappers
Pistou
1 teaspoon coarsely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons coarsely chopped tomato
Pinch each of salt and freshly ground black pepper
Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
½ cup onion, ¼ inch-diced
¼ cup celery, ¼ inch-diced
1/3 cup zucchini, ¼ inch-diced
½ cup eggplant, ¼ inch-diced
1/3 cup leek, ¼ inch-diced (white part only)
¼ teaspoon dried basil
7 cups chicken stock
¼ cup tomato concassée
¼ cup tomato purée
2/3 cup cooked white beans
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese, for garnish

METHOD:

To make the filling, combine the goat cheese, Parmesan cheese, 1 of the egg yolks, and the pepper in a heavy-duty mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat until smooth, about 1 minute.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining egg yolk and water to make an egg wash for the wonton wrappers. To assemble the ravioli, see the directions for making ravioli Use a scant tablespoon of the filling for each ravioli.

To make the pistou, grind all the ingredients together in a mortar with a pestle until smooth. If you don't have a mortar and pestle, use a small food processor.

To make the soup base, heat the olive oil, garlic, and chili flakes in a large saucepan over medium heat and sauté until the garlic is lightly browned. Add the onion, celery, and carrot. Increase the heat to high and sauté, stirring often with a wooden spatula, until the vegetables are soft, about 3 minutes. Add the turnip, zucchini, eggplant, leek, and basil, and sauté 5 minutes longer. Add the stock, concassée, and tomato purée. Bring to a boil, skim off any foam that develops, and lower the heat to a very low simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes, then add the white beans and cook 10 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and keep warm.

To cook the ravioli, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the ravioli and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Drain the ravioli and divide them among 6 warmed serving bowls. Add the pistou to the soup and simmer for 5 seconds. Ladle the soup over the ravioli and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.

Suggested Wine Pairing: Try a wine with a well balanced grassy style and a slight richness to highlight the vegetables and herbs in the soup. We suggest Spottswood Sauvignon Blan