The hearty Provencal soupe au pistou, or "pistou soup", is often the first thing that chef and cooking instructor Patricia Wells has her students prepare, since it serves as a wonderful introduction to the rustic, fresh flavors of the South of France.
Not only is this soup colorful, filling, and healthy, but also very flavorful. I fear that anyone who comments that it may need "more" could be forgetting the essential topping of Pistou (French version of pesto) at the very end. I serve this to a crowd frequently, and it is always a hit, but I let individuals add the basil and garlic Pistou themselves at the end. That essential final flourish is what awakens all the flavors. If you remember that part, I believe you'll love this soup.