It’s spring! Glorious spring!
We spent a weekend planting our little container garden on our balcony. I have a serious case of garden envy of anyone who has a little plot of land in which to plant a few vegetables. But we are doing our best and we have a couple of tomatoes and bell peppers sprouting in some 5-gallon pots on the balcony. We also planted some mixed lettuces and some arugula seeds, which are coming up like a little carpet of green. And lots of basil, which we can never get enough of. For some great inspiration on planting container gardens, check out this blog: Life On The Balcony.
We had this lovely green pea and basil soup a few nights ago, a nice light spring-time supper. We had had a big lunch so it was the perfect amount to fill us up in the evening, with a heaping plate of garlic toasts. I had been intending to make a pea and mint soup, but my mint plant is just sprouting baby leaves and there weren’t quite enough to make the soup without stripping the plant down. But basil I had in plenty, so I looked up a recipe and the first one I came up with was one by Giada de Laurentis. And it was REALLY good. Light but filling, and the basil was the perfect counterpoint to the sweet, sweet peas. We omitted the cream, and found it was delightful without it (the problem with creamy soups is often you just end up tasting the cream and not the soup).
Green Pea and Basil Soup
From Giada de Laurentis
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 lb frozen petite peas (I used the ones at Trader Joe’s)
3/4 cup chopped basil leaves
3 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
Extra basil for garnishing
Melt butter with the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, salt and pepper, and cook until onions are translucent and soft.
Add peas and basil, stir around until peas are thawed and heated through. Set aside 1/4 cup of peas for garnishing the soup later.
Put the pea/basil mixture into a food processor and add 1 cup of chicken stock. Whiz until smoothly blended.
Pour the pea puree back into the pot and add the remaining 2 cups stock. Heat up the soup over medium heat, without letting it boil.
Serve garnished with extra peas and ribbons of basil.