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Green Pea and Basil Soup

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.

9 comments to Green Pea and Basil Soup

  • The shade of green in this soup is enough to really get those birds chirping and flours blooming! It is spring personified!

  • It’s so nice to hear from someone interested in vegetable gardens! I’ve just began with a small one.(The land belongs to the parents of my boyfriend, but we are so thrilled with this project haha).

    By the way, your blog is one of my favourite food blogs. Truly.

    Have a great week.

  • Madelyn

    How many servings does this make? Looks wonderful!

  • Camilla

    Thanks everyone! This recipe makes 4 servings, Madelyn, unless you’re eating it as your main course, in which case it may serve 2.

  • mel

    mmmm! this seems like a variation on a recipe by ina garten that i’ve made a couple of times, that one uses mint. but i LOVE basil! i made this today, and my allergies are so bad i can hardly taste anything, but this was so flavorful and delicious! i halved the recipe and still have about 3 lunches worth! thank you! :)

  • Hi Camilla – Byron’s friend Andrey here. We met a few times, though briefly. Just wanted to say that Byron turned me on to your blog and I love it! I am going to have to make this recipe for my girlfriend as peas and basil are her two favorite things.

    My best to you and Chris.

  • I ended up modifying the recipe a bit by making a walnut pesto with the basil and plenty of parmesan first and then adding that to the pea mixture and topping it with some scallion – it was a hit! Thanks for the idea!

  • Camilla

    Cool, so glad it worked out for you! Umm a walnut pesto sounds delicious…I’ll have to try that soon! I checked out your blog too, it looks fabulous!!!

  • Thanks Camilla! Our blog has been dead for the past couple of weeks since we both have been extremely busy with our classwork and research projects. But eventually we will have the recipe for my version up there well. In brief it was just basil, garlic, onion, olive oil, parmesan, walnuts, oregano, salt, pepper, in a food processor till homogenous. Then add that to the pea/onion satuee and toss in the broth and then stick blend till smooth.

    I had left over pesto too. Yummy with crackers :-D