Gather Comforting Ingredients
Stilton cheese is a beautiful blue cheese, creamy and smooth with just the right amount of tang to add delicious zing to tartlets, a cheese tasting, and this Broccoli Stilton Soup.
With most soups, I start by frying a chopped onion, but with this one I like to use leeks. Their delicate flavor doesn’t overwhelm the broccoli or distract from the cheese, but instead enhances both.
Next, I add a diced potato, frying it gently in the olive oil and onions. Broccoli by itself can be a bit watery, but a generous portion of potato adds substance and thickness, and potato always goes splendidly with cheese. A knob of butter adds smooth richness and a smattering of celery seeds adds a delicious layer of flavor to the soup.
Finally, I add the broccoli. Fresh broccoli is excellent if you can find it, but frozen works just as well. I do like to take the frozen broccoli out to thaw before making the soup so it doesn’t take as long to make. I find that frozen broccoli also cooks faster since the freezing process makes it tender before you even start the cooking process. So, if you want a soup that can be made quickly, use thawed frozen broccoli, and cut your time over the stove in half.
Stir the Pot
Once the broccoli is added to the pot, cover everything with a strong chicken or vegetable broth. I like to make my own broth ahead of time, using a roast chicken carcass or a packet of inexpensive chicken wings I’ve browned in a sauce pan. Simmered in seasoned water with leeks, carrots, celery, and bay leaves, the chicken will impart beautiful flavor to the broth that will result in an even tastier soup.
Add just enough of the stock to barely cover the vegetables, so you get a thick and creamy soup. Cover the pot and bring the Broccoli Stilton Soup to a boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes until the broccoli is tender enough to be mashed against the side of the pot with a fork.
Remove the soup pot from the heat and, after setting aside 1-2 ounces of the Stilton to use as a garnish, add the remaining cheese to the soup, stirring gently until the cheese is melted. Using an immersion blender, puree the vegetables, Stilton, and broth until smooth, with no visible lumps. If you only have a standard blender, ladle the soup carefully into the jug, making sure you don’t burn yourself, replace the lid, and puree until smooth.
Pour the Broccoli Stilton Soup into individual serving bowls and garnish with reserved Stilton crumbles and a smattering of fresh lemon thyme leaves. It is also lovely topped with crispy fried onions or some nice fried bacon pieces. Temper the richness by serving it with a strong black tea like Fog Cutter.
Broccoli Stilton Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 large leeks, trimmed and sliced thinly
- 1 large potato, diced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
- 1 head broccoli, chopped
- 4-5 ounces Stilton
- 3-4 cups chicken stock
- Lemon thyme for garnish
Set large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and leeks, and cook 5 minutes or until softened.
Add potato and stir.
Add butter, celery seed, broccoli, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, 10-15 minutes until broccoli is soft enough to mash with a fork.
Remove from heat. Add most of cheese, reserving some to crumble on top of each bowl of soup. Puree with an immersion blender until smooth, or pour carefully into a blender and puree until smooth.
Divide into individual bowls and garnish with Stilton crumbles and fresh lemon thyme leaves.