The leaves have started to change color and the air is getting cooler. This time of year is perfect for flannels, pumpkin picking and bowls of hot soup! A small deli in town used to serve the most delicious roasted red pepper and gouda soup and it was definitely a favorite during the fall and winter months. Sadly they closed down, so I decided to come up with my own recipe to satisfy that craving. Roasted red pepper and gouda are a great flavor combination – this soup is almost like combining the classic tomato soup and grilled cheese pairing into one – only better! This creamy soup is delicious and definitely warms the soul on these cool, fall nights. It also tastes great (maybe even better) after sitting in the fridge for a day or two, so feel free to make it ahead and then reheat when needed.
Roasted Red Pepper & Gouda Soup
2 red bell peppers
2 carrots, peeled
freshly ground salt & pepper
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 ½ teaspoons onion powder (or substitute half a small diced onion)
1 teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried thyme
dash or two of cayenne pepper
4 cups chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes, drained (use fire roasted tomatoes if desired)
2 cups gouda cheese, shredded
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons cornstarch, if desired for a thicker soup
Preheat oven to 400º F. Line large baking sheet with foil. Place peppers on their sides on the foil, roast in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prep carrots. Cut carrots into one-inch pieces and slice pieces lengthwise. Place carrots in a small bowl, toss with enough of the olive oil to coat generously, along with salt & pepper to taste. Once the peppers have roasted for 20 minutes, remove from oven and turn the peppers using tongs. Add carrots to baking sheet, placing cut side down. Roast peppers and carrots for 15 minutes. Flip carrots and continue roasting for another 5 minutes. Check to make sure the carrots and peppers have fully roasted. The carrots should look slightly browned and shriveled. The peppers should be charred and soft and look slightly collapsed. If they’re not done yet, continue roasting for a few more minutes. Once done, remove carrots from baking sheet, coarsely chop and set aside. Remove peppers from baking sheet and place on a large plate. Invert a large bowl over the top to completely cover the peppers, allowing them to steam (or you could place peppers in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap). Let the peppers steam for about 15 minutes. Remove the skin from peppers (it should rub or peel off). Remove the stem and seeds from peppers. Coarsely chop peppers and set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onion powder, basil, thyme and cayenne pepper. Heat for 30-60 seconds or until fragrant. Add in peppers, carrots, tomatoes and chicken broth. Stir and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Transfer soup to a blender and puree till smooth (you may need to do this in batches).
Put pureed soup back in pot and add gouda cheese and heavy cream (if using cornstarch, whisk into heavy cream before adding to soup, and bring soup to a low boil after adding), stir and heat until cheese is melted.
Season with salt & pepper. Garnish soup with sour cream, basil, pepper and extra cheese if desired.
Special thanks to the the lovely ladies of The Merrythought for creating and sharing this delicious fall recipe with us. For more awesome DIY projects and drool-worthy food pics be sure to check out their blog – it’s one of our personal faves!