My first memory of eating blue cheese is fuzzy, kinda like blue cheese itself. And I can’t remember not ever liking it, but I do remember when I realized I was the only eight-year-old who did.
Eating the weird, wonderful, and pungent food was a major part of my childhood, made slightly compulsory by my dad’s motto of ‘you eat what I eat, but just less of it.’ This meant fussy eaters were not acceptable, but eating the jelly off pigs’ head terrine always was. And so you grow up thinking that this type of consumption is completely normal, until you are charged with bringing the salad dressing to your 2nd grade garden party.
The school garden party was a celebration of my class harvesting the school allotment. A celebration, my chef-y dad was sure blue cheese dressing was just the ticket for. Oh dad …Oh dear…
I can still remember the distorted and disgusted faces of my classmates as they ate what was presumably the worst ranch dressing ever.
I always make this soup with those faces in mind, but I can assure you my face is doing the complete opposite.
Broccoli and Blue Cheese Soup
Makes about 1.5L or serves 4-6
1 knob butter
1 tbsp vegetable oil
pinch of salt
1 medium white onion, diced
1 stick celery, diced
500g broccoli, chopped into florets
1L vegetable stock
125-150g of blue cheese, depending on how pungent your cheese is
Salt & black pepper, to taste
1. Heat the butter and vegetable oil in a large saucepan, over a medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the onions, celery and a pinch of salt to draw out the moisture and prevent the onions from browning. Cover with a lid and allow the vegetables to sweat for about 5 minutes until the onions are soft, stirring occasionally.
2. Add the broccoli and vegetable stock to the saucepan, bring the mixture to a boil and then down to a simmer. Cook the broccoli for 10-15 minutes or until tender.
3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and crumble in the blue cheese. Whizz with a hand blender or transfer into a food processor and blitz until smooth.
4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with croutons or with crusty bread.