Believe it or not based on my cow-like build, I actually try to keep things relatively healthy around here. That means that when I'm doing lots of entertaining, I make a lot of veggie trays. I feel like if I fill 3/4 of my plate with raw veggies, I can fill the last 1/4 with a treat and not being doing too badly for myself. That means, too, though, that I end up with a lot of odds and ends form my veggie trays. Celery, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower all end up in baggies together and they never make it to the next tray, they just hang out in my fridge.
Inspired by my children's love of Panera Bread's Broccoli Cheddar Soup, I decided I would make Veggie Tray Soup using a similar flavor profile. It's super easy, too! Shred/Chop/Coarsely Food Processor the mixed veggies of your choice. I used 2 cups of chopped veggies, total.
Next, in a soup pot, place 1 tablespoon of butter and 1/2 a cup of chopped onion and sauté until the onions are clear and cooked through. Next, add the veggies plus and 3 cups of chicken or vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and cook until the vegetables are your desired level of doneness, between 5-10 minutes depending on your taste and the size you chopped your vegetables.
Next, add one can of Cheddar Cheese condensed soup (I said it was easy and good, not gourmet!) and 1/2 cup of whatever mixed cheeses you have laying around, and heat until cooked through and warm. If the soup isn't thin enough, use milk to think it out. I also added salt and pepper to taste.
If you'd rather not use the condensed soup, you can easily switch it out. After cooking your onion and butter, and then add and additional 3 tablespoons of butter and 3 tablespoons of flour, and cook while stirring for 3 minutes. Then, add 1.5 cups of milk, 1.5 cups of chicken stock, stirring until slightly thickened, and then your vegetables (cooked in water and drained). 1 cup of shredded cheese will finish you up nicely.
Enjoy! (We had ours with warm Pampered Chef Beer Bread, and it was awesome!)