1For the crispy shallots:
In a pan (I used the dutch oven I was going to use for the soup), heat oil over medium to medium-high heat. Chop and separate the sections of the shallots. Fry in the oil for about 3-4 minutes or until brown but not burnt. Be careful because this transition can happen quickly. Set aside and lightly salt.
2For the soup:
In the same dutch oven (make sure there are no bits of shallot left), add a bit more oil to set heat to medium. Add the chopped onions, carrots, garlic, celery, cayenne, and some salt and pepper. Saute for about 7 minutes. Then, add the stock and peas. Add enough water to ensure that all of the ingredients are covered.
3Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 10 minutes or until all vegetables are very tender. Do not worry about over cooking the vegetables because they are going to be pureed. When vegetables are very soft, add the cream cheese and heat through until dissolved.
4Add the mint and stir for about 1 minute.
5Then, in a blender or with an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. If desire, pass through a sieve for an extra smooth soup.
6Garnish with the crispy shallots, fresh cracked pepper, Parmesan cheese, and a mint sprig. Enjoy!
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