Spring Pea & Basil Soup
The kids’ cheeks are sun-kissed, the bikes are out of the garage and the pansies are in the pots…it’s official, spring is finally here! It’s been a long, long time coming, so this Spring Pea & Basil Soup tastes all the better. It’s the perfect first course or light meal…delicate sweet green peas simmered in vegetable broth, then puréed with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese. So simple, so fresh, so good for you.
What’s more? It’s surprisingly easy to make. Frozen peas, vegetable broth from a carton, you get the idea…
To start, simply chop some shallots and fresh basil…
Then gently sizzle the shallots in olive oil. Add a few bags of frozen peas and vegetable broth and let it all bubble together…
Toss in your freshly chopped basil and Parmesan…
Purée with a blender, season to taste and, voilà, soup is served!
Enjoy hot or cold, as a starter or main course, for lunch or dinner. Happy Spring!
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Spring Pea & Basil Soup
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup roughly chopped shallots
6 cups low sodium vegetable broth (1 ½ large cartons, I use Swanson Organic)
6 cups (2 pounds) frozen peas
1 small lime
freshly ground black pepper
½ cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add shallots and gently cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 8-10 minutes.
2. Add vegetable broth, peas, ½ tablespoon lime juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook for about 10 minutes.
3. Remove pan from heat and add basil and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Purée with a stick blender until smooth and creamy. Be patient…peas take a long time to purée and you want it as smooth as possible. (If you don’t have a stick blender, let the soup cool slightly and purée in batches in a blender. Be sure to crack the lid or remove the center cap to allow steam to escape and cover with a dish towel so it won’t splatter. Rinse the pot and return the soup to pot.) Taste and adjust seasoning. I usually add about a ¼ teaspoon more salt, a sprinkling of fresh ground pepper and a squirt of lime. Ladle into bowls and serve hot, or chill and serve cold.
This soup will thicken as it cools. Simply add a bit of water to thin to desired consistency.
If you want to dress it up, add a seasoned crouton to each bowl.