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Pesto Pea Soup in a Snap

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Who doesn’t want to just dive into a big bowl of hot soup on a cold, blustery day?

This recipe is dedicated to my husband, who loves peas in any form. I’ve got multiple versions below. First, the easy-peasy way (or should I say easy peas-y???)…and then for people like me—who don’t really like peas but still want to eat them because peas are so healthy.

PESTO PEA SOUP

With only 5 ingredients, this soup couldn’t be easier. The only real prep is chopping the onions, but you could even buy frozen chopped onions to speed that along, too. You could be enjoying fresh, hot soup in just 15 minutes!

Ingredients:

One large onion, diced

Oil to sauté (about two teaspoons)

4 cups soup stock (I use vegetable stock, but any kind will do)

One pound bag frozen peas

2 teaspoons chopped jarred basil or one teaspoon dried basil (or to taste)

Directions:

  1. Warm up saucepan on medium heat.
  2. Add oil, and swirl to coat bottom of the pan.
  3. Add onions, and sauté about one to two minutes.
  4. Add broth and peas, and bring to a boil. Lower heat, and let simmer about 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in basil.
  6. Purée with an immersion blender or in a regular blender until smooth.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Tip: Leave out the stock, and you’ll have a tasty side dish! Just prepare the peas according to package directions (I microwave), sauté the onion and mix into the peas along with the basil. Or leave out the onion, and just flavor the peas with basil.

PESTO PEA & VEGETABLE SOUP

This version has a lot more vegetables that fuse together into a veggie mélange where no one vegetable dominates the palette. The splash of wine adds a nice note in the flavor chord. You can serve this pureed or as a chunky vegetable soup. No matter what, it’s tasty—and still fast and easy to make.

Ingredients:

1 large onion, diced

1 clove garlic, sliced

1 stalk celery (including leaves), sliced

1 parsnip, sliced

2 carrots, sliced

1 bag frozen peas (13 ounces to 16 ounces)

4 cups soup stock (I used vegetable stock)

1 Tablespoon white wine

1 Tablespoon chopped jarred basil or two teaspoons dried

Directions:

  1. Warm up saucepan on medium heat.
  2. Add oil, and swirl to coat bottom of the pan.
  3. Add onions and sauté about one minute.
  4. Add celery and garlic and sauté about one minute more
  5. Add broth, white wine, carrots, parsnip and peas, and bring to a boil. Lower heat, and let simmer about 10 minutes, until the carrots and parsnip are soft.
  6. Stir in basil.
  7. Purée with an immersion blender or in a regular blender until smooth—or leave it to serve chunky. Or do a combo, where you puree some for a thicker liquid, but not all so there are veggies you still recognize.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Timesavers:

If you plan to puree and want to speed up your prep, cut the veggies into larger pieces. It will take a bit longer to cook (adding another five-or-so minutes), but you may save time overall if you’re a slow chopper. You can also save time by using frozen carrots and frozen onion. (I haven’t seen frozen celery or parsnip, but maybe they’re available where you live.)

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