If I'm perfectly honest, my main reason for making this soup was to use up the last of our Christmas cheeseboard. We had a really nice selection of British cheeses this year - creamy Somerset Brie, crumbly Wensleydale with cranberries, tangy vintage Cheddar and strong blue Stilton. I do love a good cheeseboard, but I'm not someone who regularly eats cheese on its own so most of the leftovers were used up in cooking. I just love how oozy and gooey cheese goes when it's melted - yum! There are loads of tasty ways to use Stilton in cooking - my favourites are to add nuggets of it to macaroni cheese and to crumble it over a mushroom or squash risotto.
Broccoli & Stilton soupServes 3-4
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
150g (peeled weight) potato, peeled and cut into 1-cm cubes
225g broccoli, separated into florets
750ml vegetable stock (I used Marigold Swiss Vegetable Bouillon Powder)
100g Stilton (or other blue cheese), cubed
freshly grated black pepper and nutmeg, to season
Heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan over a low–medium heat. Add the onion to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, until softened. Stir in the garlic and cook for a further minute. Add the potato, increase the heat a little and cook for 5 minutes.
Put the broccoli into the pan and pour over the stock - don't worry if the stock doesn't quite cover the broccoli. Bring to the boil, then partially cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the broccoli is very tender.
Season to taste with plenty of black pepper and nutmeg. Remove the pan from the heat and, using a hand-held stick blender, process the soup in the pan until smooth (or leave the soup a little chunky if you prefer).
Add the Stilton to the soup, return the pan to a low heat and stir until melted. Transfer to bowls and serve.
- Skip the butter if you're counting the calories - it's there for the flavour but the soup will taste perfectly fine without it.
- I use the broccoli stalk as well as the florets - just remember to peel off and discard the thick outer skin before slicing.
- A stick blender makes the job of blending soup incredibly easy but you can, of course, use a blender or food processor instead. Just allow the soup to cool down a little before processing and work in batches if necessary.
- I like my soup thick, but feel free to add extra stock (or even a little milk) if you prefer a thinner consistency.