We always love reasons to use smoked gouda because it's such a yummy cheese. Unfortunately I couldn't get to Trader Joe's this week to get their inexpensive low-fat smoked gouda so I had to buy the expensive one at Giant (seriously it's like $3 for 8 oz, versus the $7 I paid today for 5 oz). So this soup was quick and easy to make. It took probably about 20 minutes from start to finish. It was very good, especially with the gouda, but I think I added too much cumin. Oh and we used veggie bacon in place of the regular bacon. I think now I want to buy the cookbook this came from. It looks awesome.
Edited to add: we cubed the cheese, and it didn't really melt. If you shred it, it might melt. But it's yummy with the little cubes.
Smoky White Bean Soup
Vegetarian Times Low-Fat & Fast: 150 Easy Meatless Recipes
posted on the CLBB by zackaboo
1 lb russet potatoes -- peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes(about 3 cups)
3 cups vegetable broth (or water)
1 medium onion -- chopped
2 cans great northern beans -- (15 1/2 oz) rinsed and drained
1 cup lowfat 1% (or skim) milk
1 package frozen chopped spinach -- thawed and drained
1 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper -- (1/8 to 1/4)
2 strips smoked bacon -- cooked
3 oz smoked gouda cheese (1 cup)
salt and fresh ground pepper -- to taste
minced red and green peppers or tomatoes -- to garnish
In a 6-quart pot, combine potatoes, 2 cups broth (or water) and onion. Cover; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
Process potatoes, onions and cooking liquid in batches in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return mixture to pot. Stir in remaining 1 cup of broth, beans, milk, spinach, cumin and cayenne pepper. Simmer over medium heat until hot, about 5 minutes.
Remove pot from heat. Stir in cheese and bacon (tornm into pieces). Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish individual servings with chopped bell peppers or tomato, if desired.