It’s the acid test of any newbie starting out in a commercial kitchen – use your palate to tell you when to add an ingredient or when to restrain yourself.
I served blue cheese to friends as part of my birthday lunch, but am not a massive fan of it normally so was stuck with ways to use it up because to throw it out would be criminally wasteful. If you don’t have blue cheese, use any soft stinky cheese. Brie or camembert works well, even more so if you can bring it up to room temperature before you throw it into the soup.
There are thousands of recipes for this much-admired soup, but really, the less you do to it, the better. Don’t play around with lots of cream or thickeners or anything else that will detract from this beautiful result. It must be green thick, gooey and so fragrant you want to bathe in it. It’s the perfect weekend supper dish.
1 tbsp olive oil; 1 large onion, diced; 1 medium potato, about the size of your fist, peeled and roughly diced; 1 litre vegetable stock; 1 – 2 heads broccoli, (about 400g); salt and pepper to taste; ¼ cup (60 ml) cream; 100g blue cheese or camembert (a cheap generic version is fine); crusty bread to serve.
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion for a few minutes until it colours a little. Add diced potato and stock, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the soup, covered, until the potato is tender.
Add the broccoli florets and roughly chopped stalks and cook for a further 4 minutes only. Remove from heat and blend with a stick blender to a bright green. Check for seasoning and thickness – add cream if using and two-thirds of the blue cheese and stir through to melt.
Crumble remaining cheese over the top and serve with some crusty bread.
$5.50 for four serves