Broccoli Stilton Soup
I made this soup for Hubby and I not more than twenty minutes ago and I feel so enthusiastic about it that I came straight to the computer to write this post. As a kid, one of my favorite lunches was broccoli cheddar soup, most preferably in a sourdough bread bowl...but really I would take it any old way. Whether it was chunky with carrot and potato, stringy with cheese, or even whizzed into oblivion; as long as it was broccoli and cheese together in a bowl I would eat it emphatically. I have always thought that this was the perfect soup for the classic soup and salad or sandwich combo (apart from good ole' standard Tomato soup of course), and I am so happy with this recipe that I know it will be a recurring feature on our menu, combo or no combo.
This version is a slightly more grown up, and definitely more nutritionally packed than the overcooked cream laden soup I used to eat as a child. It is unapologetically bold with broccoli and stilton flavor and the mustard croutons are THE perfect buttery, salty, crispy compliment to the silky soup. The whole thing comes together in under 30 minutes and will fill you up with all of the benefits of a homemade soup. I guarantee you will feel incredibly accomplished (and slightly smug) knowing you've put together a hearty warming meal with such little effort.
If you think you don't like broccoli and stilton soup, you are wrong. But if you insist I know this recipe would work with many other kinds of cheese and you could certainly add a big handful of seriously strong cheddar. I used a relatively hefty amount of stilton in this recipe, and if you are feeling timid then I suggest adding smaller amounts up until you get the right strength for you. By all means adjust this soup to accommodate the way you like to eat broccoli soup, as with all recipes this is merely a jumping block for doing your own thing.
Broccoli Stilton Soup
- For the mustard croutons: In my experience once you serve a few of these croutons to your family, or guests they will inevitably ask for more, so I tend to make a large batch of them as described here, if you are making these for one or two just halve the recipe and it should be just the right amount.
- 1 small round loaf of sourdough (about 5-6 cups / 400g)
- 2oz / 60g butter
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons whole grain mustard
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- For the soup:
- approx 2 cups / 1lb broccoli, cut into small florets
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped small
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
- 2 small potatoes (approx 2 cups), chopped into half-inch dice
- 4 cups / 950ml vegetable stock
- 1 cup / approx 200g stilton, crumbled
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350f / 180c. Get the croutons going before you start with the soup as they will need a bit of time to crisp up in the oven. To make the croutons, heat olive oil and butter in a small saucepan until melted. Take off the heat and stir through the mustard and the sea salt. Toss with the chunks of bread until very well coated and spread out onto a baking tray. Bake in the oven until deeply crispy and golden, mine took about 20 minutes but do keep an eye on them as you want them to come out just before burning point. Remove from oven and keep warm until soup is ready.
Meanwhile start the soup by heating a large heavy-bottom soup pot over medium heat. Melt the butter and olive oil and stir in the onions, cook until softened and beginning to go translucent. Throw in the potatoes and cook for 5-7 minutes until they are starting to soften. Add the garlic and stir for one minute until fragrant, season with black pepper. Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil, turn down to a simmer and cook the potatoes until almost done. When the potatoes are almost done are still tender crisp, add the broccoli and cook for a further 5 minutes until the broccoli stalks are soft enough to whizz up, but still vibrantly green.
Take the pot off of the heat and puree with an immersion blender, I like mine very silky. Once you have pureed to your liking, put the pot back on the stove over the lowest possible heat. Add the stilton to the pot and let it cook through just until the stilton begins to melt and give a gorgeous creamy texture to the soup. Adjust seasoning and serve.
I love this with heaps of croutons, a few more crumbles of blue cheese and a slight sprinkling of cayenne pepper for a burst of heat. Slurp immediately.