Ingredients:(Yields: 4 servings)
• 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
• ½ cup onion, finely diced
• 2 cups carrot, finely diced
• 1 small leek, white part only, cut in half lengthwise & thickly sliced (about ½ cup)
• 1 quart vegetable broth
• Pinch of sugar
• Salt & pepper, to taste
• ½ cup white potato, peeled and finely diced
• 1 cup young fresh peas, shelled, or Frozen Petits Pois (about 1 lb pods)
• 1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
• 1 ½ cup diced bread, ¼-inch cubes (from Brioche or French baguette)
• ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
• ¼ cup cream, or half & half
• 1 tablespoon chives, chopped, for garnish (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan and sweat the onion, carrots and leek over medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes. Add the broth, sugar, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.
Add the potato, cover the pan, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Add the peas and continue simmering to 10 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, prepare the croutons. Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the bread cubes and sauté for about 3 minutes, or until they turn a golden brown all over. Sprinkle the cubes with the cinnamon and set aside to cool.
Transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and puree (in batches if necessary) until smooth. Return the soup to a clean saucepan, heat through, and adjust the consistency by adding more vegetable broth or water if it is too thick. Stir in the cream and adjust the seasonings if necessary.
Ladle the hot soup into shallow soup bowls and float the croutons on top, or set them on the side. Sprinkle with the chives and serve.