This creamy vegetable soup can be refrigerated up to 3 days and kept in the freezer for up to 3 months. For a vegetarian or vegan version of this soup, replace chicken stock with vegetable stock. For the best flavor, we recommend one that’s heavy on mushrooms. Instead of the cream, use non-dairy milk.
1 large onion
1 pound carrots, peeled (4 to 5 medium)
4 celery sticks
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound thin-skinned potatoes (3 medium or 6 small potatoes)
3 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock, see how to make chicken stock
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme or substitute 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup half-and-half, cream, or non-dairy milk
Chop the onion, carrots, and celery into 1/2-inch chunks. Chop the potatoes into 1/2-inch chunks, but set aside from other vegetables.
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Toss the onion, carrots, and the celery around in the oil. Sprinkle with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and add the red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables sweat, soften, and smell sweet; 5 to 10 minutes.
Stir in the potatoes, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme. Cook for 5 minutes. (Add more oil if the pot seems dry).
Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until you can easily pierce the potatoes with a fork; about 15 minutes.
Remove the soup from the heat. Take out the bay leaves and thyme sprigs and discard. Use an immersion blender, stand blender, or food mill to puree the soup until smooth.
Stir in the half-and-half. Taste for seasoning and adjust with more salt and pepper if necessary.