Leek & rice soup with smoked gouda
Makes 4 to 6 servings
Inspired by the classic French onion soup, this simple-to-prepare version features melted cheese beneath the broth rather than on top. Regular gouda, gruyère or Swiss cheese may be substituted.
6 leeks, rinsed, trimmed and thinly sliced (use only white and pale green parts)
1⁄2 cup (125 mL) long-grain rice
6 cups (1.5 L) chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
11⁄2 cups (375 mL) dry white wine
11⁄2 cups (375 mL) grated smoked gouda
Combine leeks, rice and chicken stock in a large soup pot or saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat; simmer for 15 minutes or until leeks are tender and rice is cooked. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour wine in the top of a double boiler (or fashion one using a small saucepan set within a larger one filled with boiling water). Gently warm wine over medium-low heat, then add cheese. Stir with a wooden spoon until cheese melts and mixture becomes sauce-like, about 5 minutes.
Divide cheese-and-wine mixture among individual soup bowls, then ladle soup on top. Serve immediately along with crusty bread. (Alternatively, ladle the hot soup into bowls and float a toasted baguette slice covered with cheese-and-wine mixture on soup.)