My family loves cheese and I use it in favorite recipes from appetizers to desserts. I thought I was fairly knowledgeable about the subject until I arrived in Amsterdam and visited a few of their cheese shops.
On my recent visit I was served the most delicious gouda cheese soup and wanted to duplicate it as soon as I got home. This recipe comes close and is amazingly easy to make and low in calories. Pureed cauliflower provides lots of flavor and a creamy delicate texture so cream wasn’t needed. Use an immersion blender if you like a soup with texture…I wanted a smooth soup so blended the cooled soup in my food processor for a few seconds.
Gouda, or “How-da” as the locals say, is named after the city of Gouda in the Netherlands. It is one of the oldest (first mentioned in history in 1184) and most popular cheeses in the world. It is a semi-hard cheese celebrated for its rich, unique flavor and smooth texture. The original cheese market in Gouda is one of the last standing commercial cheese markets in the Netherlands. Since the name is not protected, it has become a generic classification for all cheeses produced and sold under the name Gouda. Gouda is typically made from pasteurized cow’s milk although some artisan varieties use sheep’s or goat’s milk to produce cheeses that are going to be aged for a long time. – Cheese.com. For more Gouda info visit their website.
There are seven different types of Gouda cheese, categorized depending on age. Graskaas is young Gouda ready to be consumed within weeks of production. At the other end of the spectrum is the extra aged, Overjarig cheese which has a full-flavored, hard, golden interior and salty flavor reminiscent of a toffee. The waxed rind of the cheese also changes by the age as soft, younger Dutch Gouda cheese are identified by yellow, orange, or red wax rinds white mature cheese have black wax coverings. I purchased the Old Gouda in the above photo in this cheese shop in the heart of Amsterdam and bought the large piece of New Gouda at Costco. The new is semi-soft with a mild creamy texture and is wonderful to cook with. It is also a delicious change from the sharper more intensely flavored cheese I usually use. Young Goudas are best paired with beer while medium cheeses taste best when paired with a fruity Riesling or Chenin Blanc. A well aged Gouda complements wines that are deeply flavored such as a rich Merlot or Shiraz. Gouda cheese may be grated, sliced, cubed or melted. It may be used as a table cheese or dessert cheese.
Gouda cheese is flavored with the wide variety of herbs, spices and other flavorings.
The quality and selection of takeout food in Amsterdam is excellent and it’s very easy to put together an impromptu picnic.
I wonder if they do home delivery. Portland is called Bicycle City but we don’t even come close to the number of bikes in Amsterdam. Hundreds of them are parked EVERYWHERE. They have the right of way and they mean to take it…so watch out if you are doing a lot of walking. Don’t expect them to swerve around you.
I found this delicious soup recipe at My Gourmet Connection. I made several small changes but otherwise prepared it as the recipe directs. It was so flavorful and creamy that I didn’t think it needed the half-and-half, and I substituted crispy bacon for the prosciutto.
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 2 celery stalks
- 3 cloves garlic
- 6 cups cauliflower florets
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Salt and ground white pepper to taste
- 1 bayleaf
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups grated gouda
- 1 teaspoon mustard (Dijon-style or English)
- ¼ cup half-and-half
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped coarsley
- 2 to 3 thin slices of prosciutto, julienned
- Roughly chop the onion, carrots, celery and garlic and combine with the cauliflower, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and salt and pepper in a large soup pot. Cook over medium heat until vegetables start to soften and onions become translucent, about 20-25 minutes.
- Add the bay leaf and chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf and purée the soup until smooth with a hand-held immersion blender, or a conventional blender.
- Just prior to serving the soup, stir in the gouda, mustard, half-and-half and butter. Taste and season with salt and pepper again if needed. Continue cooking until the cheese has melted and the soup is smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
- In a small pan, heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat and quickly fry the rosemary and prosciutto until crispy and aromatic.
- Divide soup into bowls and garnish with the rosemary and prosciutto.