The blue cheese, as I said in the previous post, being Sainsbury’s Basics Blue. It’s pretty good, too – I’ve had far worse labelled as Stilton, and from an allegedly reputable source.
This soup will be blended at the end, so do make sure you don’t add the beans before that (preheat them in a little stock if you wish, and add both stock and beans to the pot). Hold back a few cooked broccoli florets, finely chopped, as a garnish.
If using a blender or a food processor, there’s no need to chop the broccoli too enthusiastically, but do chop it small if using a stick blender. Or, if you want a soup with texture, use a potato masher.
750g Broccoli florets, fresh or frozen (if frozen add 10% to allow for ice)
200g Blue cheese, rind thinly pared and discarded, chopped, crumbled or grated
150g Swede, diced
150g (untrimmed weight) Brussels sprouts, trimmed and shredded
4 to 6 Echalion shallots, depending on size, finely chopped (or 3 or 4 cooking onions)
1 small leek, white parts only, shredded
Splash of olive oil
3 Kallo organic veg cubes
1 teaspoon dried basil (optional)
1.5 tablespoon Powdered Chanterelles (or Powdered Porcini)
800g Cooked beans (go for a white bean, cannellini, soya, or even haricot; I have only pinto, which might impart a muddy colour to the soup though it won’t affect the taste), or 4 cans, drained and rinsed added right at the end.
1 tablespoon Potato starch, slaked with cold water
Maldon Sea Salt and Schwartz white pepper, to taste
Blue cheese can be salty, so be aware.
If the flavour needs adjusting, use a little Marigold Bouillon Powder and/or blitz a cup full of beans and stir into the pot.
Tips: There are no carrots in this as they would adversely affect the colour, which should be pale green. Powdered fungi can affect the colour, too, which dawned on me just seconds too late. Ah well… (In the event they gave it a slightly speckled appearance.)
Potato starch has no flavour, it’s just a thickening agent. If you’ve not used it before you’ll find it hard to stir initially, before suddenly yielding to the spoon.
Method (this made 4 litres, scale down the quantities if using a smaller pot):-
Sweat off the shallots or onions, and the leek, in the melted butter and oil over a low heat until soft but not coloured.
Add everything down to and including the powdered fungi, plus enough boiling water to cover (about half full). Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the swede is soft. And the cheese and allow to melt, stirring frequently. Add the potato starch at the same time, it will help keep the cheese from going stringy (add half at first, see how thick it is – add the rest, and more, if needed).
Before it thickens, blitz it with a stick blender (or whatever you have), until it’s the texture you want, then increase the heat. Continue stirring until it thickens, paying particular attention to the bottom of the pot – you don’t want it to stick and burn.
Once its reached the desired consistency, add the beans, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and allow them to heat through, stirring occasionally.
15-20 minutes should be sufficient, twice that if straight from the freezer.
Taste and adjust the flavour and seasoning as needed (if adding any Marigold, give it another few minutes to cook out), then allow to cool.
Note: It needed nothing but half a teaspoon of pepper.
As usual, refrigerate when cold to give the flavours time to snuggle up to each other.
Next day, reheat gently, stirring frequently, and serve with good bread, as ever.