Its been a particularly cold winter. But then we probably say that every year. What I do know is that when the cold fronts come rolling into Cape Town and batter down on us, soup becomes a staple in my house.
Broccoli and blue cheese live so comfortably together on the flavour spectrum, its like they are the oldest and best friends.
I had bought some farm broccoli at the Hope Street Market and this is terribly easy to make.
Oh and I love to use the stalk of the broccoli head. It often makes up as much mass as the florets themselves, it tastes delicious and is perfect when it gets blended into soup.
I used my own home made chicken stock which I had frozen. Using home made stock makes the world of difference.
- 1 white onion chopped
- 1/4 of a small fennel bulb chopped (about 1/4 of a cup chopped)
- 1 potato cubed
- 1 head of broccoli (medium)- cut into large florets, and the green part of the stalk sliced fairly finely
- 3 cups (750ml) stock and extra to top up
- 60g (more or less) blue cheese of your choice
- 2-4 T of Mascarpone cheese or fresh cream (optional)
- 1/2 dried chilli flakes (optional if you want a little kick) – I used smoked chilli flakes
- salt and pepper
- micro green leaves / beetroot shoots
Heat a splash of olive oil in a heavy based pot and sweat the onions and fennel for about 5 minutes and until they turn translucent. Add the broccoli stems (only) and the potato, cover with the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer with the lid on until the potato turns soft, about 15 minutes. Add the broccoli florets and if necessary top up the levels with a bit more stock. I use a liquid stock concentrate. Add the chilli if you are using it and cook for a further 6 – 10 minutes and until the broccoli os tender when a knife pierces the floret stem.
Process the soup in a blender or using a hand held stick blender until its the desired thickness. Add about 2/3 of the blue cheese and allow it to melt in. Reserve the rest to crumble on top. Add the Mascarpone or cream now to make it more indulgent and richer.
Serve with a crumble of blue cheese and a pinch of micro crimson leaves. I love these highly falvourful beetroot leaves, which add flavour, freshness and another texture dimension.
Stay warm and keep things green this winter.
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