Monday, February 2, 2015

Sticking to resolution with superbly smoky soup

This is how Milk Pail Market, one of my favorite Mountain View grocery stores, encouraged visitors to kick off 2015:

That’s a resolution I can get behind every year, and sure enough I recently picked up some fantastic oak-smoked cheddar from these guys. Great on its own, but also quite delightful melted into this soup.

Smoky Cheddar Potato Soup 
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced small, ¼ cup reserved
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and diced
48 ounces vegetable broth
2 cups grated smoked cheddar
Salt and pepper, to taste

Warm olive oil in a large pot. Add garlic, onions, smoked paprika, cayenne and bell peppers and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes. Increase heat, add potatoes and broth to pot, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Using a ladle or glass measuring cup, scoop three cups of soup into blender. Puree soup and stir back into the pot. Remove soup from heat and stir in cheese until it’s melted into the soup. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish each serving with a sprinkling of red bell pepper.

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