Since my last posting of my berry and almond cake, I am sad to say that my little laptop died a death. I have not been able to check my page nor to post anything. Eventually I remembered that my wonderful sister gave me her old mac years ago, so having reinstalled it and set it up, it finally works again and now I can finally blog and see what people have commented and at long last reply. Yaysies!
I have become a little crazed with soup as of late. It seems to be all I want to eat, that and risottos. It is just so easy and with the hours we are working, it seems the logical thing to cook. We get home tired and hungry and before we get stuck into all the evening chores, we only really have time for something quick to heat and eat. So I make a big batch of soup and we eat some and freeze some and then it is there for when we need it. Before the puppy came into our lives, I used to spend my evenings and days off cooking up a storm and putting it in the fridge for the week. Now my schedule seems to have gone a bit awry. This is not a complaint, just an observation.
At the moment, I go between hearty winter veg soups, autumnal soups and summery soups. It all depends on the weather and at the moment it seems that we are having all four seasons in one day. Yesterday it bucketed down hail stones, then came the heavy rain, then glorious sunshine and of course a lot of wind and then later all became calm with light showers and then as dark fell, clear skies and a lovely moon. Really it’s no wonder that our appetites are a bit all over the place. The weather also doesn’t help our newly planted grass seed. Every morning I go check on my little seeds, alas still nothing! Wondering if I will ever have grass. Fingers crossed that it suddenly takes root and shoots up lovely long luscious blades of green grass. But until then, I have a lovely luscious green broccoli soup for you. Broccoli is coming into season now. I know you can get it all year but it is so much better and tastier to have it grown locally and really fresh. On Sundays we have a wonderful farmers market about ten minutes up the road. And there is one farm that comes and sells their produce that we really love. It is all grown locally and picked that morning. But if you don’t get there early (as in as soon as they set up stall), there will be nothing left. I kid you not, everything sells so quickly. Needless to say, this is where I got my broccoli!
BROCCOLI AND BLUE CHEESE SOUP
For this soup I used Gorgonzola. A rich creamy Italian blue cheese, but you can use any blue that you like or can buy. I know some people prefer the drier more crumbly Cashel blue cheese but I didn’t have any nor was I going back outside to the shops in this weather! D doesn’t like blended soups but I do! To compromise, I blend the base soup and add roasted broccoli florets to give texture and different depths of flavour.
- Olive oil
- 1 large or 2 smaller onions, roughly chopped
- 2 gloves of garlic
- 160 g potatoes (about 2 largish), peeled and cubed
- 2 heads of broccoli, roughly 400 g each, cut down to chunky florets
- 900 – 1200 ml stock
- 50 g parmesan, grated
- nice big chunk of blue cheese, about 100 g
- 1 tbsp dried oregano and rosemary
- salt and pepper
Heat the oven to 160 C (fan oven).
In a large saucepan, heat about 2 tbsp of oil, add the onion and cook for a few minutes to soften. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Next add the cubed potatoes and half of the broccoli florets (the florets don’t have to be perfectly cut down, some stalk is fine too). Add some salt and pepper and stir to coat the veg with oil. Next add the stock. Cover and cook on a medium heat for 20 or so minutes, until the broccoli and potatoes are cooked through.
While the soup is cooking, place the second half of florets on a baking tray. If there are any big lumps, break them down as they should be bite sized. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and the oregano/rosemary. Pop into the oven for about 15 minutes to cook and crisp up. Once cooked, set aside for later.
When the base soup of potatoes and broccoli are cooked through, pour into a blender. Blend until smooth. Return to the saucepan and add the parmesan cheese and stir. Next add the roasted broccoli florets (reserve a few for garnishing) to the soup and stir through.
Dish up into bowls and garnish with chunks of blue cheese, a few bits of roasted broccoli and some pepper. The blue cheese and roasted broccoli add texture and saltiness so no need to add more salt.