Recipe: 13 Treasure Happiness Soup

It’s not quite the weather in Adelaide for this hearty soup, but my Sydney-based daughter made it the other day in their rainy weather and declared it comforted, cheered and satisfied the whole (fussy) family. It is best as a winter dish, cooked on a cold afternoon to scent and warm the house as it bubbles away. There is quite a bit of chopping to do, but the cooking itself is relatively quick and efficient.

If you are using dried beans, you will have to soak and cook them beforehand. See the instructions in the recipe.

You can browse all of our soup recipes here and here.

13 Treasure Happiness Soup

13 Treasure Happiness Soup | Provencale Vegetable Soup

This soup is SO delicious – and makes me so happy when I eat it. The 13 vegetables in it and that wonderful warm, happiness feeling gave the soup its name, but really it is from Provencale in France. There it is a summer soup, but the addition here of potatoes, pumpkin and sweet potato give it that wonderful warmth for winter and introduce truly wonderful texture combination sin every mouthful.

My parents believe firmly that vegetables are the path to health ,and so a normal meal at their place may consist of many vegetables. The record number of veggies at this time is 9, yes NINE, at once on a plate. But with this recipe, I think that I claim the prize. Thirteen in one sitting. Not bad.

The basil and garlic pistou gives the soup extra flavour and colour as well as a wonderful aroma, so don’t leave it out! The soup can be cooked and the pistou made 1 or 2 days in advance and kept chilled until time to reheat gently.


275 g shelled fresh broad beans (if in spring) or 3/4 cup dried haricot or cannellini beans, soaked overnight, or even a can of haricot or cannelloni beans pinch thyme, sage, rosemary 2 cloves garlic
1 Tblspn olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped 1 large leek finely sliced
1 celery stick, finely sliced 2 carrots, finely diced 2 small potatoes, finely diced
1 slice of peeled pumpkin, finely diced a 7cm slice sweet potato, peeled and finely diced 115 g french beans
1.5 litres water, or veggie stock 2 small zucchini 3 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
handful spinach leaves, cut into thin ribbons salt and freshly ground black pepper springs fresh basil to garnish
1 handful peas
Pistou 1 or 2 garlic cloves 15 g basil leaves
4 Tblspn grated parmesan cheese 4 Tblspn extra virgin olive oil
few pine nuts or cashew nuts

To make the soup, if using dried beans, drain, place in a saucepan and cover with water. Cook for 10 minutes and then drain.

Place them, the canned beans or the fresh broad beans in a saucepan with the herbs and one of the garlic cloves. Add the stock or water to cover by 2.5 cms. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer over a medium low heat until tender – about 5 minutes for canned beans, 10 minutes for fresh beans or 1 hour for dried beans. Set aside in the cooking liquid.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or casserole. Add the onion and leek and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften. Add the celery, carrots and the remaining garlic clove. Cook, covered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the potatoes, pumpkin, sweet potato, French beans and remaining water or stock, season lightly with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, skimming any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Add the courgettes, tomatoes and peas, with the reserved beans and their cooking liquid and simmer for about 10 – 20 minutes until all the veges are tender. Add the spinach to the hot stock and let wilt. Simmer for no more than 5 minutes more. Season the soup.

Serve with a swirl of pistou in each bowl, and garnish with basil.

To make the Pistou Put the garlic, nuts, basil and parmesan in a food processor and process until smooth, scraping down the sides once. with the machine running, slowly add the olive oil through the feed tube. Alternatively, and for a better taste (I think), pound the basil, cheese, nuts in a mortar and pestle, and slowly stir in the oil while mixing.

Be Happy!


This recipe is cross posted with our sister site, A Life Time of Cooking. It first appeared here as part of the Retro Recipes series – recipes from our 1996-2005 blog.






19 Comments Add yours

  1. gardenerat60 says:

    mmm, Tomato salad sounds very good. I am going to try it today. Only vinegar is a problem, but will do something about it too.:-)


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