The Chef’s Take: Vegetable Soup with Pesto from Jody Williams


At both branches of Buvette, Jody Williams’s restaurants in New York City and Paris, sumptuous small plates are served throughout the day from 8 a.m. until 2 a.m. in cramped spaces that ooze French-country charm. In the morning, croissants and steamed eggs are on the menu, and at night, pâtés and French-leaning tapas appear.

Whatever the time of day, Williams has considered how to make every morsel served feel extra-special. “We cook with a certain sense of purity and emphasize whole, natural foods. I put a lot of thought into what’s coming into my restaurant and what’s going into my pots and pans,” she explains. “Certainly soupe au pistou,” says Williams of the classic vegetable soup with pesto, “is flush with health and nutrients.”

Like the dishes served at Buvette, and the recipes that fill the pages of her newly released cookbook, the soup reveals much about the chef’s ability to make rustic, soulful dishes lusty and authentic. A slew of vegetables, including warm-weather newcomers like squash and green beans, cook down with creamy dried beans and nothing more than water until everything turns velvety and lush. At the table, a bright pesto gets stirred into bowls and, …read more