Carrot Pea Soup with Pancetta, Basil and Mint

Peas and carrots – two veggies that have been unfairly maligned for too long. But this carrot pea soup will change your mind, it’s comforting and delicious, perfect for warming up on a chilly evening.

The two together seem stale, even cliche. But look, what’s that gleaming through that window over there! Peas and carrots represent the rising sun in the east.

Clichés are one of my favorite types of humor.

But notwithstanding, these two vegetables have a poor reputation. People who are too weary of making their vegetables appealing (an understandable phenomenon) will often relegate them to the side of the plate as an obligatory vegetable side dish, possibly from some godawful steam-in-the-microwave frozen meal bag.

Nonetheless, this is springtime. And these little ones deserve better than to be scraped in various serpentine patterns over your plate until the rest of your meal is gone, and you’re left with a pile of grey-green and grey-orange destined for the trash.

We are stocking up on spring peas by kilo, shelling them, and storing them in the freezer because they are in season.

It seemed wasteful to hold onto some of them. This soup was exactly what I needed to satisfy my yearning for something ethereal and uplifting. Combining the carrot and pea soup’s vibrant springtime flavors would make both Forrest and Jenny proud.


  • 4 oz. of bacon or pancetta
  • 2 peeled and chopped onions
  • 2 large peeled and chopped carrots
  • 5 cups of chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 3 cups of fresh or frozen & thawed peas
  • ½ cup of milk
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped mint
  • olive oil
  • basil (to garnish)
  • salt and pepper


  1. Over medium heat, melt 1 Tbsp of butter and 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Then, add half of the onions and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until they begin to turn golden. After a few minutes of cooking, add the carrots. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Mix in 2 cups of broth. Carrots are done when they can be readily punctured with a fork after about 10 minutes in a simmering liquid. Take it off the heat. In addition to the sour cream or other creamy addition, half a cup of milk is required. Put the mixture, the mint, and the lemon juice into a blender, being careful not to spill. Put in a blender and whirl until smooth; put aside (you can thin it out with water if necessary).
  3. Crisp up the pancetta in your pot. Take out the frying pan. Sweat the remaining onions in the pan with the second tablespoon of butter. Next, toss in some peas. Add 3 cups of broth and continue to sauté for a few more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 3-5 minutes, or until the peas are soft but still crisp, after bringing them to a boil.
  4. Clean the blender and puree the pea soup until it is very smooth. Just add water if it gets too thick. The soups must be poured into the bowls simultaneously and at the same speed to create the swirl. Add the crispy bacon/pancetta, basil leaves, and a drizzle of olive oil for garnish. Eat hot or at room temperature.
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