Warming Winter Wonders
We love our soups and in the Winter, they are an important sources of nutrients while enhancing every meal with warmth and hospitality. Here are two recipes that are easy to make and guaranteed to please.
Broccoli and Stilton Soup
Here is a blended vegetable soup that is smooth and hearty that can be used as the centrepiece of a casual meal or at an elegant dinner party.
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 stick celery, sliced
- 1 leek, sliced
- 1 medium potato, diced
- 1 knob butter
- 1l low salt or homemade chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 head broccoli, roughly chopped
- 140g Stilton, or other blue cheese, crumbled
- Heat the rapeseed oil in a large saucepan.
- Add the onions
- Cook on a medium heat until soft.
- Add a splash of water if the onions start to catch.
- Add the celery, leek, potato and a knob of butter.
- Stir until melted, then cover with a lid.
- Allow to sweat for 5 minutes. Remove the lid.
- Pour in the stock and add any chunky bits of broccoli stalk.
- Cook for 10 – 15 minutes until all the vegetables are soft.
- Add the rest of the broccoli and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Carefully transfer to a blender and blitz until smooth.
- Stir in the stilton, allowing a few lumps to remain.
- Season with black pepper and serve.
Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup
This perennial favourite is rich, filling and a healthy way to make use of those end of season mushrooms.
- 25g dried porcini (ceps)
- 50g butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, sliced
- Thyme sprigs
- 400g mixed wild mushrooms
- 850ml vegetable stock
- 200ml tub crème fraîche
- 4 slices white bread, about 100g, cubed
- Chives and truffle oil, to serve
- Bring a kettle to the boil.
- Pour the water over the dried porcini just to cover.
- Heat half the butter in a saucepan.
- Gently sizzle the onion, garlic and thyme for 5 minutes until softened and starting to brown.
- Drain the porcini, reserving the juice.
- Add to the onion with the mixed wild mushrooms.
- Leave to cook for 5 minutes until they go limp.
- Pour over the stock and the reserved juices.
- Bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.
- Stir in crème fraîche, then simmer for a few more minutes.
- Blitz the soup with a hand blender or liquidiser.
- Pass through a fine sieve, then set aside.
- Heat the remaining butter in a frying pan.
- Fry the bread cubes until golden
- Drain on kitchen paper.
To serve, heat the soup and froth up with a hand blender, if you like. Ladle the soup into bowls, scatter over the croûtons and chives and drizzle with truffle oil.