I know there is a school of cooking these days that’s all about hiding vegetables in things so you can sneak up on your kids, nutritionally speaking. But I feel the way my mother does: children should get to know and befriend their vegetables. Otherwise, they’ll be at a dinner party when they’re thirty and they’ll refuse to eat their peas and become socially extinct. Mom and I also reject the sneaky approach because the recipes often involve advance pureeing and other tasks that we find too annoying to perform.
With that said, we would both admit to concealing a veggie or two sometimes, if it’s for the greater good, which is to say it makes our cooking lives easier. With this recipe, for example, you can collect all the neglected vegetables in your fridge and throw them in, thereby cleaning house and feeding your family in one swoop.
Serve it with bruschetta and you’re done.
Creamy Dreamy Vegetable Soup
(serves 6 to 8)
¼ cup mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
3 tablespoons olive oilf
1 onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
4-5 cups chopped mixed vegetables
(I like equal parts cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and celery)
5 to 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Mix the mascarpone cheese, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of dill together in a bowl, and set it aside.
- Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion and the bay leaf, and cook until the onion is soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
- Add the potatoes and cook them stirring once or twice, for 2 minutes. Add the remaining vegetables and cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes.
- Add 5 cups of the chicken broth, bring the soup to a simmer, and cook, covered, until the veggies are tender, about 15 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
- Transfer the soup in batches, to a food processor, and puree it. Then return it to the soup pot. Stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons of dill and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and heat the soup to a simmer, adding more broth if it needs thinning.
- Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve the soup with a tablespoon of the mascarpone mixture on top of each bowlful.