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J's Smoked Gouda Vegetable Soup
Recipe courtesy J.J. Jackson

10 strips bacon, diced
1 1/2 cups sliced onion
2 or more cloves garlic, mashed and chopped
2 carrots, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced (or crushed) tomatoes (do not drain)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini or Great Northern beans (do not drain)
2 roasted red peppers, sliced
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans chicken broth
1 small zucchini, sliced and chopped in large pieces
1 small yellow squash, sliced and chopped in large pieces
2 large leaves fresh basil, chopped
12 leaves fresh oregano, chopped
12 (1/2-inch) slices French baguette
Vegetable cooking spray
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to taste
Hungarian paprika to taste (optional)
1/2 cup smoked Gouda cheese, dicedRender bacon slowly in nonstick skillet over medium-low heat until crisp.

Remove bacon from pan, reserve for garnish, and heat fat on medium-low. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking until onions are translucent. Do not allow garlic to burn. Transfer onions and garlic to a soup pot. Add carrots, tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the beans, red peppers, chicken broth, zucchini, and yellow squash. Bring to a boil. Add basil and oregano. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray baguette slices with cooking spray and lightly toast in oven. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and paprika on toast and toast until light brown and bubbly.

Five minutes before serving, add Gouda cheese to soup and allow a few minutes for cheese to soften. Ladle soup into serving bowls. Sprinkle reserved bacon over top. Place 2 slices of toast per serving on top of soup.The recipes for this program, which were provided by contributors and guests who may not be professional chefs, have not been tested in the Food Network's kitchens. Therefore, the Food Network cannot attest to the accuracy of any of the recipes.

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