- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (less or more, to taste)
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 (12-oz) jars of roasted red peppers, drained and chopped (I like the peppers preserved in water, not oil)
- 1 russet potato, peeled and diced
- ½ cup heavy cream or half-and-half
- 8 oz smoked gouda cheese, grated (you can use any smoked hard cheese you like)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat the oil and butter over medium heat in a large pot.
- Add the onion, carrot, and a generous pinch of salt and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and thyme sprigs and cook for another minute.
- Add the wine and cook, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot, until it is reduced by half.
- Add in the broth, season with more salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer.
- Once the soup is simmering, add the roasted red peppers and the diced potato. Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the potato is very tender, about 20-25 minutes.
- Carefully blend the soup, in batches, until smooth, thick and creamy.
- Return the blended soup to the pot and place it over medium-low heat (alternatively, you can use an immersion blender and blend it up right in the pot).
- Stir in the cream and the smoked cheese, stirring constantly until the cheese is melted and everything is combined and creamy.
- Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve!