• 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 ribs celery with leafy tops, finely chopped
  • 1 red chili pepper, seeded and very finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 rounded tablespoon smoked sweet paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 rounded tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups shredded Gouda cheese
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Thinly sliced scallions, for garnish
  • Warm toasted crusty bread, for dipping

In a large soup pot, melt butter over medium-heat. Add onions, carrots, celery, chili pepper and garlic; season with salt, pepper, paprika and bay. Partially cover pan and soften veggies, 7-8 minutes. Stir in flour, cook a minute or so then whisk in milk and stock. Bring to a bubble and thicken to a thin-sauce consistency. Stir in cheese and simmer partially covered 15-20 minutes. Stir in parsley, adjust seasonings and serve garnished with scallions and crusty bread alongside for dipping.