This is a great informal meal for a crowd. It’s meant to be served warm rather than hot, so there are fewer worries about timing. Start with some saucisse sèche for your guests to nibble on. Then serve the soup and pass the pistou (make sure your significant other eats some of the pungent garlic basil paste as well). Add some sourdough bread and a well-chosen cheese plate to complete your meal.
This recipe can easily be doubled, and the leftovers freeze well. If I think I’m going to get two meals out of this, I don’t add the elbow macaroni the first time around, because the pasta gets a bit soggy when reheated.