Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Cooking Mojo - A New Recipe

The Big Suck (aka 2012) kind of killed my cooking mojo.  I stopped trying to develop any kind of new recipes, and cooking in general became sporadic.  I'm trying to change that.  I'm trying to get my cooking mojo back, but it has been an uphill struggle against the gravity that is my apathy.

So it was a bit of a surprise when I found out that I was the featured member this week on tastykitchen.com in fact it made me feel guilty for not cooking more.  My last recipe entry on the site was April 11, The Big Suck.  To assuage my guilt I vowed to come up with a new recipe this week that I would post on Tasty Kitchen and (hopefully) in doing so, reclaim the enthusiasm I used to have for cooking and feeding people.

Some part of me has been wanting to get back to cooking for a while.  I have been periodically making big batches of soup and taking it into work.  At first I shared it only with my co-worker A., then I shared it with the other people in my department, and last week and this week I was brave enough to share with everyone in our building.  I made tried and true recipes that I had down to a science: Polish Pickle Soup, Creamy Tomato Basil, and Zuppa Toscana.

Tonight I stepped outside of that comfort zone and worked on making a completely new recipe.  A long long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, I was on a trip in Yellowstone National Park and tried a roasted red pepper and gouda soup at the Old Faithful Inn restaurant.  It was delicious, in fact it was the tastiest thing I ate on that entire trip.  Ever since then I've thought about that soup, and tonight I tried to make it and give it my own spin.  Here's the recipe, please try it and let me know what you think.  Warning: I made enough to feed about 20 people, you may want to halve this recipe.

SMOKEY RED GRILLED CHEESE SOUP

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour


Ingredients:
  • 4 TBSP Butter
  • 2 Carrots (chopped)
  • 1 Onion (chopped)
  • 1 T Sugar
  • 2 cans Diced Tomatoes (I used Italian style, but use whatever floats your boat)
  • 2 jars Roasted Red Peppers
  • 1 1/2 C Dry White Wine (I used Sherry)
  • 2 cans Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 tsp White Pepper
  • 1 TBSP Smoked Paprika
  • 1 pint Half & Half
  • 4 cups Smoked Gouda (shredded)
  • 1 Baguette
Directions:

In a large stock pot over medium heat, melt and then brown the butter.


If you have never browned butter before, please watch this tutorial I found on youtube.  My favorite part is the "positively voluptuous aroma".



Once the butter is browned add the chopped carrots, onion, and sugar.  Cook for 7 to 8 minutes until the onions are soft and fragrant...or possibly voluptuous.




While the onions and carrots are cooking, open the peppers and tomatoes and strain the liquid into a bowl, reserve the liquid and add the chicken broth to it.





When the onions are ready add the tomatoes and peppers and let cook another 10 minutes.


Then add the wine, turn the heat to high, and stir the whole thing well while bringing it to a boil.


Slowly pour in the reserved liquids and simmer about 20 to 30 minutes.


While the soup is simmering you can shred the cheese and slice the baguette.



Remove the soup from heat and use an immersion blender to blend until smooth.


Stir in the pepper, paprika, half & half, and 1 cup of the shredded cheese until it is incorporated into the soup.






Take a couple slices of the baguette and top them with a little of the shredded cheese and melt the cheese in your toaster oven.  If you are doing this for a large group I would line a cookie sheet with tin foil and place the bread slices topped with cheese on that and toast it for a few minutes under the broiler.  Watch it carefully to make sure the cheese doesn't burn.


Ladle the soup into a ramekin, bowl, or mug (I'll say it again folks, whatever floats your boat) and top with the cheesy toast.  Serve with extra baguette slices for dipping.



You can see this recipe on Tasty Kitchen by following this link.

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