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Make-Ahead Pea Soup with Shallot, Lemon, and Parmesan

[Photograph: Suzanne Lehrer]

Not to be confused with the thick-as-fog, sits-in-your-stomach-like-a-brick winter-time version, this pea soup is subtle and light, fragrant with lemon and mint. The soup is only simmered long enough to cook through the peas and let the flavors come together; a handful of Parmesan at the end adds salt and a touch of creaminess.

One of my favorite ways to add lemon to soups or braises is by blanching the peels 2 to 3 times to remove the bitterness, which I've done here, before throwing them into the soup. If you're using the peels for a dish that won't be blended, slice them into juliennes for a beautiful garnish.

If you're using fresh peas and not serving the soup right away, cool down the soup over an ice bath and refrigerate immediately to avoid discoloration. An advantage of frozen peas is that they're better at keeping their color. If you're going the fresh pea route, throw the pods into the soup to add pea flavor, and then discard before blending.

About the Author: Suzanne Lehrer is a writer and recipe developer in New York and a recipe editor for Cooking Channel. When not curating her budding hot sauce collection, she puts her French Culinary Institute education to good use in kitchens all around town. Follow her recipes and cooking adventures at TheSuzChef.com and on twitter @the_suzchef.

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