I promise I didn’t invent this combo in a bizarre foodie nightmare. I am well aware that this recipe sounds like I may have thrown all my refrigerator leftovers into a pot and called it a recipe. (Although let’s be real- isn’t that how all good recipes/ soups are originally concocted?)
But no, this Roasted Red Pepper and Gouda Soup is a familiar staple in our neighborhood, originally tasted and adored at The San Diego Soup Shoppe in North Park, San Diego.
In fact, the roasted red pepper soup at this restaurant is so good that every time our Bay Area friends come to visit we make a pilgrimage to the Shoppe. And after her last visit, Emily (Bay Area resident and intermittent hand-model) could not wait for the next monthly soup tasting and elected to find a way to create the soup at home.
And then she sent me the recipe. Because it needed to be on the blog.
And let me just tell you.. this soup is absolutely on point. And actually really, really easy. If you have some time to chop and simmer some vegetables, and then blend it all together and dump in some cheese, you have time to make this recipe. It is a foolproof set-it-and-forget-it type of recipe which seems ideal for January when motivation is a little low and we are all just struggling to make it until spring.
The vegetables that are pureed create a perfectly creamy emulsion of lightly sweet, salty, and sour flavors. And the cheese adds an extra layer of nuttiness, saltiness, and decadence. The original recipe called for smoked gouda, which I substituted for regular gouda. I found the flavor to be lovely and subtle and am not sure how I would feel if the soup had a smoky flavor. Emily did make her recipe with smoked gouda and said that it was very good and didn’t detract from the recipe. I will let you, the reader, decide. So ladle yourself a bowl and remind yourselves that strange combinations sometimes lead to the best results.
(Which, incidentally, might be my new personal catch-phase).
Roasted Red Pepper and Gouda Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 medium carrots diced
- 1 12 oz jar of roasted red peppers, drained
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 28 oz low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup shredded gouda plus extra for garnishing
- 1 cup croutons optional
- Heat olive oil in a 3 or 4 quart saucepan over medium high heat. Add onions and saute until tender.
- Next add carrots, garlic, and red peppers. Cook for another 1-2 minutes until garlic and carrots just soften, but be careful not to burn.
- Add chicken stock, basil, and thyme.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 45 minutes. As the vegetables soften, use a wooden spoon to break apart the red peppers.
- Remove from heat and carefully puree soup in the pot using an immersion blender. You may need to add 1/2-1 cup of water if it seems a little dry.
- Taste and add additional salt and pepper as needed.
- Melt in gouda cheese; may need to turn the heat back to low or medium low to fully melt the cheese.
- Serve topped with croutons and additional gouda (optional).