This soup is sweet and mild and filled with enough vegetables for one meal, so serve it with a peppery little salad for contrast. This is another Moosewood cookbook original!
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon canola oil or 1 tablespoon other vegetable oil
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 1 cup peeled and diced carrot
- 1 1⁄2 cups diced potatoes
- 3 cups water or 3 cups basic light vegetable stock
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 cup green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1⁄2 cup red bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup zucchini, diced
- 1⁄2 cup green peas, fresh or frozen
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 ounces neufchatel cheese or 2 ounces cream cheese
- In a large soup pot on medium heat, sauté the onions in the butter and oil for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Stir in the celery, cover, and cook until just soft, stirring occasionally.
- Add the carrots, potatoes, water or stock, thyme, bay leaf, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil; then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are just tender, about 5 minutes.
- With a strainer or slotted spoon, remove about 1 1/2 cups of the cooked vegetables and set aside in a blender or food processor.
- Add the green beans, bell peppers, and zucchini to the soup pot and cook until the green beans are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the peas and parsley, simmer for 2 more minutes, and then remove from the heat.
- Discard the bay leaf.
- Puree the reserved vegetables with the milk and cheeses to make a smooth sauce.
- Stir the sauce into the soup and gently reheat.
- Serve hot.