This past week a friend and I had planned a little outing to historic Main Street in downtown Saint Charles, MO. It's always a fun day of shopping, wandering, sightseeing, and eating. We had planned on dining al fresco at a well-reviewed cafe that neither of us had patronized before, and we were both looking forward to it.Mother Nature had other ideas, and our pick day of the week turned misty and cold, so we ended up eating Mexican food elsewhere. No problem! I can eat Mexican a couple of times a week, but I had been looking so forward to the signature, and highly praised Red Pepper Gouda Soup at the restaurant that was our original choice. Rummaging through the fridge, I decided that I had all of the ingredients to make a version my own. I have no idea how this compares to that offered by the restaurant, but I was plenty pleased.
I found it equally good hot, warm, or cold. It takes to many toppings such as croutons, additional grated Gouda, popcorn (yep!), or a swirl of pesto or sour cream. It also enhances a grilled cheese sandwich, strategically dipped. I think this may become my “go to” soup of the summer.
Sweet Red Pepper and Smoked Gouda Bisque
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 jar Melissa’s Fire Roasted Sweet Red Bell Peppers, drained and chopped
1-1/2 cups homemade chicken stock
1/3 cup heavy cream
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated smoked Gouda cheese
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic to the butter and saute for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender. Stir in sugar and peppers, and heat through.
Slowly pour in the chicken stock, stirring to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes.
Transfer to a blender or food processor, and puree until smooth. Return the mixture to the saucepan. Stir in the heavy cream, black pepper, and cheese, and heat through until cheese melts, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Serve warm or cold.
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