I don’t know about you, but if you’re anything like me, you still have a large chunk of Stilton lurking at the back of your fridge.
If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you will know that I have a small weakness when it comes to cheese. Well, actually it’s quite a large weakness. And one of the many reasons I love Christmas so much is because it gives me a really good reason to indulge. Hard cheeses, blue cheeses, soft cheeses, British and continental, they all grace my cheese board.
I am often content to shop online. I know what I want, order it and let the lovely man/lady deliver it to my door. No traipsing round the supermarket pushing a full and heavy trolley, no unloading and reloading for the tills and then unloading again at home. I just smile sweetly, sign on the screen and unpack my shopping directly into the cupboards. Because of where I live it’s actually cheaper than if I were to drive to the supermarket, so no guilty feelings!
But at Christmas, this wonderful opportunity to enjoy lots of good food with so many people over the space of a week or more, I make it my prerogative to go and choose the cheese myself. I find it impossible to choose by simply looking at a screen, and anyway, to do so would be a missed opportunity for 20 minutes of cheese aisle bliss.
Part of the result of this year’s 20 minutes of cheese aisle bliss was a half wheel of stilton. No matter that my trolley was packed with mimolette, Comte, Gruyere, etc, etc, a regular wedge of stilton was not acceptable to me, it had to be the half wheel. And as previously mentioned, as a result of this slight over indulgence, I still have a large piece of stilton to use up. I could nibble away at it for the next few lunches, accompanied by a lovely, crisp, cox’s apple, to make it slightly healthier(!?), but it seems a shame to miss an opportunity to make this delicious soup.
I’ve been making this stilton and broccoli soup for years. In our house it was originally called cheese soup, partly as I was aware that to use the word ‘broccoli’ would have got us off to a bad start if you catch my drift, partly because my children didn’t like stilton – I substituted it with mature cheddar. I suppose that on paper it didn’t look as if my kids were going to like this, but in reality they loved it. So for anyone who dislikes stilton, just use mature cheddar, or any other favourite cheese, and they will devour it.
It only takes slightly longer to make this soup than it does to open a can or carton and heat it, and it’s much better for you and a lot cheaper. When serving to adults, I like to serve this soup with a little extra stilton sprinkled on top. I always leave the cheese nearest the rind for this as it goes silky smooth and slightly gooey as it melts into the soup. D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!
Stilton and Broccoli Soup
- 1 large onion (diced)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium heads of broccoli (about 700g)
- 1.5 litres of hot vegetable or chicken stock
- 250 g stilton (crumbled)
- Sauté the onion in the oil.
- While the onion is sautéing discard the bottom few centimetres of the broccoli stalk then cut the head into florets and slice any remaining stalk into 1cm thick slices.
- Once the onion is translucent, add the broccoli and hot stock to the pan, bring to the boil and cook until the broccoli stalk is just soft, this will take around 10 minutes. The broccoli should still be a lovely, vibrant green.
- Remove the pan from the heat and blend the contents until they are silky and smooth. I like to use a stick blender for this.
- Return the soup to the heat, add 200g of the cheese and heat until the cheese is melted and the soup is just below simmering.
- Ladle into bowls, sprinkle the remaining stilton onto the soup and serve with fresh crusty bread.