Fire Roasted Tomato Soup with Fried Gouda Toast

4 servings, 50 minutes




For the Fire Roasted Tomato Soup:

½ cup diced pancetta

⅔ of a medium onion, medium dice (reserve the rest for Fried Gouda Toast)

1 small carrot, medium dice

1 celery rib, medium dice

1 large, jarred fire roasted red pepper, medium dice

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

Kosher salt

4 tablespoons tomato paste

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

4 cups unsalted chicken stock

2 (14 ½-ounce) cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes

2 teaspoons sugar

2 sprigs of thyme

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon brandy

Cracked black pepper

1 tablespoon cornstarch

For the Fried Gouda Toast:

Remaining ⅓ of the medium onion, small dice

2 Tbsp. butter

Kosher salt

2 sprigs of thyme

½ lb. double cream gouda, grated

2 oz. Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar, or another crumbly, low-moisture sharp cheese

Reserved pancetta

4 slices of sourdough

2 tablespoons minced parsley (optional)



Prepare the Fire Roasted Tomato Soup:

  1. Place the pancetta in a cold, medium saucepan with two tablespoons of water. Heat over medium. Slowly render the fat from the pancetta, stirring occasionally, until browned and crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. Deglaze the pan with extra water as needed, scraping up the browned bits stuck to the bottom. 
  2. Once all the water has evaporated and the fat has rendered, remove the pancetta, leaving the fat behind in the saucepan. Set aside the pancetta for the Fried Gouda Toast.



  1. Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the onion, carrot, celery, roasted peppers, and paprika to the saucepan with a pinch of kosher salt. Sauté until the onions become translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomato paste caramelizes and sticks to the bottom of the pan. 
  1. Add the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds before deglazing with red wine. Cook until the wine has evaporated. 



  1. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, sugar, and thyme. Bring the soup to a simmer, then cover and cook until the vegetables are completely softened, about 30 minutes.


Meanwhile, prepare the Fried Gouda Toast:



  1. Place a medium, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the butter. Once it begins to foam, add the onion, a pinch of salt, and thyme. Sauté until the onions are translucent and softened, about 5 minutes.
  1. Add the garlic, sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove the thyme. Add the onions to the reserved pancetta and set aside until cool enough to handle. 
  1. Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel, then place over medium heat. Sprinkle the gouda in the pan, roughly the same shape as your slices of sourdough. Top with cheddar and a heaping tablespoon of the pancetta and onion mixture per serving. 
  1. Once the cheese has melted, place the slices of sourdough on top. Fry until the cheese is browned and lacy around the edges, about 4 minutes. Flip, then toast the underside in the residual fat until golden brown, about 2 minutes. 
  1. Remove the toasts and sprinkle with parsley (if using). Keep warm in the oven, cheese side up, while repeating with the 2 remaining slices of sourdough.


Next, finish the soup:



  1. Once the soup is finished cooking, remove the thyme. Stir one tablespoon of water with the cornstarch into a slurry, then add to the soup. Blend until smooth, using an immersion blender or transferring the soup to a regular blender.  
  1. Finish with cream and brandy. Season with kosher salt if needed.
  1. To serve, top each bowl of soup with an extra drizzle of cream and a few cracks of black pepper. Cut the toast into 1 ½ inch sticks to serve alongside.


Enjoy with a glass (or bottle) of our 2019 Jersey Girl Syrah.