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Spring Pea & Basil Soup

Serves 6

Ingredients

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup roughly chopped shallots
6 cups low sodium vegetable broth (1 ½ large cartons, I use Swanson Organic)
6 cups (2 pounds) frozen peas
1 small lime
salt
freshly ground black pepper
½ cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves, loosely packed 
2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Directions

1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add shallots and gently cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 8-10 minutes.

2. Add vegetable broth, peas, ½ tablespoon lime juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook for about 10 minutes.

3. Remove pan from heat and add basil and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Purée with a stick blender until smooth and creamy. Be patient…peas take a long time to purée and you want it as smooth as possible. (If you don’t have a stick blender, let the soup cool slightly and purée in batches in a blender. Be sure to crack the lid or remove the center cap to allow steam to escape and always cover with a dish towel so it won't splatter. Rinse the pot and return the soup to pot.) Taste and adjust seasoning. I usually add about a ¼ teaspoon more salt, a sprinkling of fresh ground pepper and a squirt of lime. Ladle into bowls and serve hot, or chill and serve cold.

This soup will thicken as it cools. Simply add a bit of water to thin to desired consistency.

If you want to dress it up, add a seasoned crouton to each bowl.