Winter vegetable stew with pesto

Winter vegetable stew with pesto

The winter vegetable stew with pesto is a great way of getting all the vegetables you need in winter. When cooked slowly, the vegetables are delicious (almost caramelised). Its also very simple to prepare and any beginner can try this and easily succeed.

You can change the pesto sauce for a pistou sauce, originates from the South of France. It is very similar to pesto sauce,  but it doesn’t have any pine nuts. Another difference is that we usually eat this sauce with Mediterranean vegetables in a soup (Soupe au Pistou) or a stew.

The version I present to you is a winter vegetable stew, but there is variety with the season, you can make it lighter in summer for example.


I like it because:

  • Switch the pistou with a pesto sauce: it’s easy to find already made if you want to make a quick dinner.
  • You can cook it in different ways : a complete dish, a side dish along a piece of meat, or more traditionally as a soup. In that case it is necessary to cover the vegetables with water during  the cooking.
  • It is a vegetarian recipe.



  • The pistou sauce is usually  crushed by hand or with an implement, but you can do it faster using a food processor or a hand mixer and a deep, narrow recipient. In that case, place the robot blade in the freezer 1 hour before, or bat  the mixture with a ice cube to preserve the basil’s flavour.
  • Measure out the garlic in the sauce to your taste, between 2 to 4 cloves.
  • It is very convenient to plant basil at home. It grows very quickly in summer, so you have enough to spread as much as you like to your recipes.



Vegetable stew:

  • 1 spoon olive oil for the pot
  • 7,1 oz (200g) bacon if you want
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 5 fresh onions or 2 dry onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 10,5 oz (300g)  carrots
  • 10,5 oz (300g) parsnips
  • 1 fennel
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1 small can crushed tomatoes (8 oz)
  • 21 oz (600G) frozen white beans
  • A little bit of parsley
  • 1 vegetable or spice broth cube
  • Salot, pepper, coriander and any other seasoning you normally use.


Pistou Sauce:

  • 2 bunches of basil
  • 2 to 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 US cup (100g) grated parmesan
  • 2/3 US cup (150 ml) olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, grounded coriander seeds or any other seasoning you normally use.




  • Heat the oil in a large pot, with the rosemary. If you want to add bacon, just heat the pieces directly in the pot without oil. In the meantime cut the onions and garlic cloves thinly,  add them in the pot on a low heat until the onion is soft.
  • Peel and cut into small pieces the carrots, parsnips, fennel bulb and celery, and add them into the pot gradually. Also add the crushed tomatoes, white beans, 15 cl of water, the parsley and the broth cube. If you want to make a soup, cover the vegetables with water.  Season with salt, pepper, coriander etc., cover the pot and simmer for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
  • In the meantime prepare the pistou sauce: put the basil, garlic cloves, olive oil and seasonings in a deep, narrow recipient, and mix them with a hand blender until you obtain a thick sauce. Add the Parmesan cheese at the end and mix again.
  • Serve the vegetables in a bowl with the pistou sauce on top.

Bon appétit!


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