Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Stir in vegetables and sauté until softened (8-10 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add peas, the diluted stock, thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, cover, and reduce heat so liquid is simmering. Cook until peas are very tender, about 1 to 1¼ hours.
Remove bay leaf. Transfer mixture to a food processor, or blender, and pulse until almost smooth.
Return to pot and heat until hot, adding more water, if necessary. Soup should be rather thick.
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