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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Pea and Basil Soup

Green pea is one of the favorite veggies in my household. It is very versatile, I use it for just about anything - to make soup; mix in pasta and casserole; mix in stew or stir fry. My little tot loves to snack on it just plainly steamed and mixed with butter.

2 Tbsps olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 lbs (about 4 1/2 cups) frozen peas
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
2 cups chicken broth, divided
2 cups cream
4 to 6 very thin slices fresh mozzarella cheese (optional)
1/4 cup diced roasted red bell peppers (jar is fine) (optional)

1. Place a medium soup pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil, butter, onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the peas and basil, and heat until the peas are thawed.

2. Place the pea mixture in a blender. Add 1 cup of the chicken broth and pulse until pureed, adding more broth, if necessary, to puree. Return the pureed mixture to the pot. Stir in the remaining chicken broth and cream. Return the pan to medium heat and cook until hot, but not boiling.

3. To serve, place the soup in bowls. Float a thin slice of fresh mozzarella cheese on top of each soup and sprinkle with the diced roasted red bell peppers. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 to 6 servings (6 1/2 cups)

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