Sweet Pea and Pesto Soup

By • August 21, 2014 0 Comments

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Author Notes: A friend brought a version of fresh pea soup to a brunch, so I thought I would try my hand at creating one. I honestly don't think I'd ever had anything but split pea up to that point....
I love the vibrant flavors and the bright color of this soup, it's a great starter for a spring or summer feast.


Serves 6-8

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • cayenne pepper (a good pinch!)
  • 1 pound peas, fresh or frozen
  • 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 1 1/2 ounces basil (stems removed and leaves reserved)
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • kosher or sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the onion, carrot, and celery. Saute 5-10 minutes until the vegetables have softened a bit and the onions are translucent.
  2. Add the minced garlic, saute about 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Pour in the broth and sprinkle in the cayenne pepper, bring the mixture to a simmer, reduce the heat slightly simmer about 15 minutes so the vegetables soften fully.
  3. Add the peas to the hot broth and let cook through (about 10 minutes if frozen, but more like 5 if fresh). Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the toasted pine nuts.
  4. Puree the soup in a blender in batches until smooth, adding a small handful of basil to puree with each batch. Pour the puree into another pot or container as you go.
  5. After all the soup has been pureed, whisk the Parmesan through warm soup to fully incorporate. Whisk the heavy cream as well as the half and half into the mixture and add salt, black pepper, and extra cayenne pepper to taste. Thin with extra cream, warm broth, or milk if desired.
  6. Chill several hours. Serve cool.

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