ROASTED VEGETABLE SOUP WITH CHEDDAR GOUGERES
I absolutely love this time of year. Maybe it’s because I spent my childhood in California, but I always get excited for the changing of the seasons. I am now a proper Midwesterner so I happily take part in all things Fall. To get ready for some cozy weather and soup season, I created this Roasted Vegetable Soup with Cheddar Gougeres. This soup is full of nutritious vegetables. What gives it its great flavor is taking the time to roast them. It creates a deep caramelized flavor which tastes even better the next day. It also freezes beautifully so you can make a double batch and have some ready for a later date. Think of this recipe as a take on a classic soup and cracker combination. It’s the food equivalent of a cozy sweater.
I love the hearty puree of roasted veggies topped off with a few Cheddar Gougeres or Cheese Puffs. It will make the perfect lunch or starter for dinner. Gougeres sound fancy but are quite simple and delicious. They are made with a pate a choux base and a nice amount of cheese folded into them. Think of them as a savory version of a profiterole. When they bake up they puff up and become hollow, and the outsides are crisp and light at the same time. This is one of the first recipes we were taught in Pastry School because it’s so versatile and used in so many classic desserts and pastries. Don’t be discouraged by these baking terms and or think it’s a complicated technique. I got you covered.
Here are a few tips to guarantee gougeres success:
The first step is to cook the milk, water and flour until it forms a paste
Add the eggs one at a time and then continue mixing the batter until it is shiny and holds its shape but isn’t too stiff
Don’t open the oven as it bakes, so it will get a chance to puff up nicely
To be honest, I’ve made these many times and sometimes they don’t puff up at all but no one seems to notice. They still taste delicious and you can rebrand them as cheese wafers.
Gourgeres are typically made with Gruyere cheese, but I am going with Cabot Creamery Vermont Sharp Cheddar Cheese. I love the bold flavor of this Cheddar and it pairs so nicely with the savory flavors of the soup. That smooth, creamy texture makes these gougeres a showstopper. Depending on how big you make them, I like to put 3 or 4 on top of the soup. And the best part is there will be plenty of extras so you can serve a plate on the side or have them as a treat.
Cabot Creamery Vermont Sharp Cheddar is my favorite snacking cheese and it happens to be lactose free. I always have a bar of this award winning cheese because it’s delicious and it complements so many flavors. Cabot Creamery has been a certified B Corp corporation since 2012 and is the first dairy co-op to do so. Definitely makes me feel good about supporting them and their delicious products.
There’s nothing better than a bowl of this comforting soup with a few crispy gougeres to go with it. It is absolutely delicious, warming and full of homemade goodness.
ROASTED VEGETABLE SOUP WITH CHEDDAR GOUGERES
ROASTED VEGETABLE SOUP
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
¼ cup heavy cream and more for garnish
chopped chives, garnish
olive oil, garnish
Cheddar Gougeres, recipe to follow
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with some parchment paper and place the sweet potatoes, carrots, red bell pepper and onion on the tray in an even layer.
In a small bowl stir the smoked paprika, thyme, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper together.
Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables, then sprinkle the spice mixture over the top. Give the vegetables a stir so the get evenly coated.
Place the tray in the oven for 20 minutes, then give it a turn and bake for an addition 20-25 minutes until golden brown and the vegetables are cooked through.
Transfer the roasted vegetables to a large pot and add the stock and heavy cream. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Bring the soup up to a boil and simmer for a few minutes.
Serve with a drizzle of cream, olive oil, chopped chives and the Cheddar Gougeres.
½ cup water
½ cup milk
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs , room temp
4 oz shredded Cabot Creamery Vermont Sharp Cheddar Cheese, plus more for sprinkling
pinch of nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Pour the milk and water into a saucepan, add the butter, salt and nutmeg. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Add the flour all at once and stir it in with a wooden spoon. Lower the heat and continue to stir vigorously until a smooth paste forms. This will take about 2-3 minutes and the dough will pull away from the sides of the pan.
Place the dough paste into a bowl of an electric mixer. Let it cool for 1 minute. Using a paddle attachment, add eggs one at a time on a low speed. Make sure the egg is fully incorporated before adding the next one. Continue mixing until the dough is shiny and smooth and will hold its shape.
Scoop or pipe the dough out into small rounds about the size of a tablespoon. Leave a space of 2 inches between the gougeres. Sprinkle the extra grated Vermont Sharp Cheddar Cheese over the tops and bake for 20 minutes. Lower the temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Be sure not to open the oven door while they are baking. Let the gougeres cool slightly before serving.
If you don't have an immersion blender, you can puree the soup in batches in a blender.
Both the soup and gougeres can be made ahead and freeze well. Defrost the soup overnight in the fridge before reheating. Reheat frozen gougeres in a 350 degree F oven for 8-10 minutes until warmed through.