Kinda fancy-looking while super quick to make, this herb-y soup is the perfect complement to the sourdough loaf you got into baking when the world got hit by a pandemic. Which is, hopefully, but a bad memory by the time you read this. Fingers crossed.
Carrot Top−Pea Soup with Pesto [Vegan]
For the Soup:
- 1 (13.5-ounce, or 400 ml) can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 cup (240 ml) vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon (20 g) roasted onion purée (see tip, following), plus more for serving
- 1 teaspoon Diamond kosher salt, or to taste
- 1 to 2 garlic cloves, grated
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 pound (454 g) frozen petite green peas, thawed and drained
- Basil–Carrot Top Pesto, for serving
- Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
For the Basil-Carrot Top Pesto:
- 1 cup (35 g) loose fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup (25 g) loose carrot top fronds, stemmed
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon Diamond kosher salt, or to taste
- 3 tablespoons (26 g) roasted pine nuts (use less for a more liquid pesto)
- 1 teaspoon maca powder (optional)
- Juice of 1/2 large lemon
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) roasted walnut oil or extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
For the Pesto:
- In a small blender or food processor, combine the basil, carrot tops, garlic, salt, pine nuts, maca powder (if using), and lemon juice. Process just until combined, enough for the herbs to be chopped.
- With the blender running, slowly drizzle in the oil. For a thinner pesto, add more oil as needed. Transfer to a small airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
For the Soup:
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, bring the coconut milk and broth to a boil. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, uncovered, for a couple of minutes.
- Add the onion purée, salt, garlic, ginger, and peas. Simmer just to warm the peas, about 3 minutes. They must remain bright green and with a firm consistency for best results.
- At this point, you are free to either partially blend the soup or leave it as is. If you want to blend it, remove a few ladles of peas before blending to keep some texture going. Add pesto to taste.
- Garnish each portion with a little more pesto, onion purée, and a few small basil leaves.
Turn white onions into a creamy, mellow, sweet mixture that will take your soups to another flavor dimension while making them look good, too. Gently scrub as many unpeeled onions as you wish and pat them dry. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C, or gas mark 7). Place the onions on a rimmed sheet pan. Roast until the onions are super tender, about 1 hour. Wait a bit for the onions to cool. Once they can be handled without burning your hands, remove the peels and place the onions in a food processor or blender. Blend until completely smooth. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Yield will vary, but 1 large onion usually yields 1 cup (240 g).