Carrot Pea Soup with Pancetta, Basil & Mint

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By The Woks of Life

Yes, spring peas are in season, which means we're buying them by the kilogram, shelling them, and freezing them. It seemed a shame not to use some of them right away, however. I was craving something light and fresh, and this soup fit the bill perfectly. Both the carrot soup and the pea soup have bright, springtime flavors.

Serving Size: 6 | Prep Time: 20 mins | Total Time: 1 hr

Ingredients:
  • 2 Tbsp butterolive oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and choppedsaltpepper
  • 5 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream, crème fraiche, or cream cheese
  • 1 Tbsp chopped mint
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 oz bacon or pancetta
  • 3 cup green peas (fresh or frozen, thawed)basil, to garnish
Directions:
  1. Start by melting 1 tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil in a pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add half of the onions and cook for about 5 minutes, until just starting to get golden. Add the carrots and cook for another few minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add 2 cups broth. Bring to a simmer and cook until the carrots are fork tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. And ½ cup milk and the sour cream or other creamy component of choice. Carefully pour the mixture into a blender along with the mint and lemon juice. Puree until smooth and set aside (add a bit of water if it's too thick).
  3. In your pot, add the pancetta and cook until crisp. Remove from the pan and set aside. Melt the second tablespoon of butter in the pan and sweat the rest of the onions. Then add your peas. Sautee for a couple minutes and add 3 cups of broth. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer until the peas are just tender, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Puree the pea soup in a clean blender until very smooth. Add a bit of water if it's too thick. To achieve the swirl effect, pour both soups into the bowls at the same time, at the same speed. Garnish with the crispy bacon/pancetta, the basil leaves, and a light drizzle of olive oil. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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