Asparagus Pea Soup

Au Bon Pain Restaurant Copycat Recipe

4 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup onion, medium dice
1/2 cup celery, medium dice
2 bunches asparagus, cooked and chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 cup petite green peas, frozen
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
6 cups vegetable stock
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely chopped
1 tablespoon  Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
juice of half a lemon
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

In a heavy bottomed soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat and saute the onion and celery until they begin to sweat and soften, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Add the chopped asparagus (reserve the tops), peas, and garlic; cook about 1 minute more. Add the vegetable stock and bring it to a boil. Partially cover the pot, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes.

Remove the soup from heat and use an immersion blender to puree the ingredients to your preferred consistency. Return the soup to low heat and add the heavy cream, chives, Parmigiano-Reggiano, fresh lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste.  Bring the soup to a low simmer for five minutes before serving with the reserved asparagus tops.

Notes: At Au Bon Pain, they keep a little definition to the ingredients so that the soup isn’t complete smooth.  If you don’t have an immersion blender you can puree the soup in batches in a blender, but use caution: hot ingredients expand when they’re blended (because of the steam).

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