Here's a vibrant green soup featuring sugar snap peas and herbs. In contrast to the hearty pea soups of winter, this one is fresh and bright for spring. The secret ingredient is an avocado, which gives the soup a light creaminess without any dairy. This is equally good warm or chilled, served as an appetizer or a light meal along with some good bread.
Fresh Snap Pea Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup chopped shallots
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 pound snap peas, trimmed
1 medium avocado
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 tablespoon packed fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh chives and/or chive blossoms for garnish
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Add the snap peas and cook until tender and bright, about 3 minutes.
Purée the mixture in a blender or using an immersion blender. (Work in batches if necessary and be careful when blending hot liquids.) Peel and pit the avocado and add it to the pea mixture along with the parsley, mint, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth, adding more vegetable stock or water if the soup is too thick. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.
Serve the soup in bowls, garnished with chives.