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Celery Soup - Copy

Soup to me never looks appealing – it’s all in the taste.  Celery and Stilton are not two ingredients I would rush to eat on their own but together they go very well.  This is often a soup I make after Christmas as there is always a piece of Stilton left in the back of the fridge which I am not going to eat on a cracker and I am too mean to throw out.

My father was a huge fan of Stilton.  Whenever he came to stay he would ask if there were any moldy bits of cake or Stilton lurking anywhere?  If so he would be only too happy to finish them off for me as a favour – no gain whatsoever for him.  He also had the same selfless attitude to any open bottles of spirits.

I always did have both, something we both knew I would have and neither of which were ever moldy.  His favourite way of dispatching the Stilton would be to toast a French Stick sliced in half and then covered with slices of Stilton which were then placed under the grill until bubbly.  This soup made a near perfect lunch for him as long as there was a generous slice of fruit cake to follow.

Stilton Cheese

The piece of 85g/3oz Stilton cheese I used

Celery &  Stilton Soup with Stilton Croutons

Ingredients

60 g butter

1 head of celery (whole celery trimmed, I don’t use the leaves)

2 medium onions

850 ml/1 ½ pts vegetable stock

salt and pepper

85g/3 oz Stilton

double cream (optional)

For the Croutons

French bread cut into thin slices

extra Stilton

Method

Trim, wash celery and chop finely.

Chop onions finely.

Melt butter in a saucepan.  Add celery and onion and leave to sweat with the lid on for ten minutes.  Stir a couple of times just to check that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.

Once vegetables have softened add 850ml/1 ½ pt vegetable stock, stir and replace lid and simmer gently for 30 minutes.   Check that the vegetables have cooked. To test, push a piece of celery against the side of the pan and it should crumble.  At this point you could add salt and pepper but I prefer to season after I have added the Stilton.

Liquidise while still hot.  At this point you have a choice, either to leave it as a celery and onion soup which tastes good or to add the Stilton which will change the flavour totally.

If adding the Stilton there is no fixed measure to add, just the left over bits in the fridge will transform the soup.  About 85g/3oz is just about enough for me.  Crumble the Stilton as you add it to the hot soup and stir, it will melt with the heat.  Taste and season if required.

If re-heating do not boil but bring slowly to a gentle simmer.

It is ready to serve.  Cream for decoration can be added at this point.

Stilton Croutons

Slice the French bread into 1 cm slices.  Any thicker and you lose the toasted crispness.

Toast the French bread on both sides.  Slice some Stilton and place on top of the slices and put back under the grill, it will only take a few minutes for the Stilton to melt.

Place on top of the soup and serve.

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