Basics by “The Café”
Finessing By Narcissa Lyons
This sounds like it might be a heavy soup, but isn’t. The amount of cheese is minimal but adds a nice smokiness and texture. It’s possible adding a dollop of sour cream to your portion might make it even better since sour cream invariably does. Below serves roughly 4 hungry peeps.
1 tablespoon EVOO
1 onion chopped
2 carrots peeled and cut into small pieces
4-5 roasted red peppers, sliced*
4 cloves garlic minced
2 cans reduced sodium chicken broth (14.5 oz cans)
1 bunch fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 cup smoked Gouda cheese shredded, plus some for garnish
Home-made garlic croutons**
Chopped bacon bits (optional)
Heat olive oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, 3 to 5 minutes. Add carrots, roasted red peppers, garlic, chicken broth and seasonings. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove from heat. Using either an immersion blender (love this thing) or a traditional blender, puree the soup. Once pureed and at home in the saucepan again, add the cheese. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until cheese is melted.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with some of the shredded cheese, croutons & bacon bits. Enjoy.
*If you haven’t roasted peppers before, it’s easy and they are very good to have around to toss into almost anything (pasta, sandwich, fantabulous on their own). Plus you should do it any time you think your peppers might not be tasty raw any longer. Simply take 4-5 peppers or whatever depending on you, and slice off the sides, tossing the innards. You do not have to wash since you’ll be peeling off the skin. Place them on a cookie sheet, skin side up, and put under a high broil setting. You want to take them out when the skin looks as below, approx. 10-15 minutes. Once cooled off, peel the skin and discard the skin. It’s OK if you don’t get every last shred of charred skin since that adds to the flavor. Layer the pieces of peppers in a wide cereal bowl ideally so that layers are: peppers/TBSP EVOO/salt to taste, peppers/EVOO,etc. Each time you put the oil on, rub into the peppers so they all have the benefit.
**If you don’t have them or feel like making them, store bought will do the trick obviously.