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Chef Hubert Keller Carrot and Fresh Pea Soup with Cinnamon Croutons

Degree of Difficulty: Easy
Cost: Inexpensive
Time Needed: 1 hour
Serves: 4

Ingredients : Soup
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion minced
  • 2 cups carrot minced
  • 1/2 cup leeks, white part only, split and thinly sliced
  • 1 quart vegetable broth or water
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 1 small potato, peeled and finely diced about 1/4 cup
  • 1 cup shelled young peas, fresh or frozen (1 1/2 lbs. of pods give you 1 1/2 cups of fresh peas
  • 1/4 cup cream or half and half
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
Cinnamon Croutons
  • 1 1/2 cups 1/4 inch crustless bread cubes, made from Brioche or French bread
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
Special Equipment Suggested:
  • 1 electric blender or food processor or food mill
  • 1 heavy bottomed 3 quart saucepan

Coat a saucepan with olive oil. Place over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, leek and saute them, by stirring frequently. After 5 to 8 minutes add the vegetable broth. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar. Bring to a boil. Add the potato, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Add the peas and keep simmering for another 10 minutes.

Transfer the mixture in batches to the container of an electric blender or food processor. Process until very smooth. Return the soup to a saucepan and bring back to a simmer. Adjust the consistency of the soup by adding a little vegetable broth or water, if too thick. Now add the cream or half and half and taste carefully to correct seasoning. Keep hot and prepare the cinnamon croutons.

For the croutons; heat the olive oil in a heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add the bread cubes and stir until medium brown, about 3 minutes. Then sprinkle with cinnamon powder. This can be prepared ahead, transferred to a small tray and set aside at room temperature.

Serve the soup in shallow soup bowls with the cinnamon croutons on the side or floating atop the soup.

This soup can be prepared 2 to 3 hours in advance and set aside to cool. Reheat just before serving in a pot over medium heat.

Also a bit of cream at the end is a nourishing touch, but by no means a necessity.

If frozen peas are used; always buy a good quality brand, usually in 10 oz packages and keep them frozen until you are ready to follow the recipe.

Recipe by Hubert Keller, Fleur De Lys Restaurant