Joco Diversions

Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Smoked Gouda adds sophistication of classic lunch combo

Does the thought of a bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich on a cold winter’s day make you smile?

Chances are your dear mother opened a can and melted a slice of yellow American cheese on white bread. But with just about as much effort, you can add nutrition and a bit of sophistication to this classic lunch combo.

The Star’s Roasted Red Pepper Soup With Smoked Gouda features roasted red peppers in a jar, a convenience product available in nearly every supermarket. Red peppers are naturally high in vitamin C and beta carotene. The robust roasted pepper flavor melds beautifully with a grating of smoky Gouda, a Dutch cheese with a nutty, almost butterscotch note.

Can you say “Mmm, mmm good?”

Shopping tips: Look for roasted red peppers in the produce aisle or the condiments aisle, often near the olives. Refrigerate remaining peppers in the jar.

Gouda does not come in pre-shredded packets. Instead, look for a small wheel (often covered in wax) in the deli section and shred your own.

Cooking tip:

An immersion blender is a cool little handheld stick with a rotary blade on the end to puree soup right in the pot. They’re a fairly inexpensive appliance, but you can use a blender if you prefer. Just be sure to allow the soup to cool slightly and vent the top before pureeing to avoid splatters on the ceiling.

Serving tip:

If you have fresh basil in the fridge, add a leaf to this brilliant red-orange soup for a bit of gourmet style.