Monday, 21 February 2011

Broccoli and Stilton Soup

The Aurora restaurant in Soho was the venue for a social outing involving my Christian fellowship group, and it was there that I was introduced to Broccoli and Stilton Soup. Arguably, the soup was really good, and might impress even people who have an aversion to blue cheese. I have since been meaning to reproduce this in the kitchen using Sainsbury's Basics ingredients, but have not gotten round to doing so as fresh and new ideas for items keep popping into my mind. With a recent dearth of ideas however, and a naan and some butter expiring in my fridge, I thought the time has come for me to present this.

A quick Google search indicates that the recipe is relatively straightforward: dice some broccoli, potato and onion and fry everything together in butter or olive oil. Add flour to combine with the fat to form a roux before ladling in chicken stock, leaving the entire thing to simmer for about half an hour. Finally, crumble some blue cheese and add to the pan along with some milk, leaving the result to cook for another 10 minutes. Add a tablespoon of cream before serving. This is thus very useful for novice cooks who wish to make something unusual for a group party.

The Sainsbury's Basics British Blue cheese is the closest thing in the range to Stilton; the latter holds Protected Geographical Status such that any cheese claiming to be Stilton has to comply with strict requirements, including being made in one of only three counties. I am unsure as to the origin of the Basics Blue, but if you are not too fussy about authenticity, I guess this will suffice. It is certainly not one of the strongest tasting blue cheeses I have had, which would probably bode well for people who do not wish to offend at the dinner table.

I couldn't taste much of the blue cheese in the soup. The recipe at CookUK suggested 55g of cheese for 2 servings, which I suspected to be insufficient to get a nice strong cheese flavour. If I ever get the chance to do this again, I'll probably increase it by half. Overall however, the soup is filling and provided some warm comfort amid the cold spell of weather that we are having. It's cheap too, coming up to a ballpark figure of £1.40 for two servings (the wedge of cheese I bought was £1.41 for about 225g, with milk costing 45p and the potato and broccoli costing 45p each). I had it with the remaining naan bread I had, which should see me through to breakfast tomorrow.

DescriptionPrice per UnitNo. of servingsTrade-up PremiumTrade-up Benefits
British Blue Cheese£6.49/kg~ 200g+£0.86/kgShropshire Blue. Proper Stilton will cost even more.
Plain Naan£0.592+£0.30Not known

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