Monday, 30 January 2012

Leek and Blue Cheese Soup

So this might be a bit premature, but I spent this weekend planning what to grow in the garden (and by garden I mean the tiny 2x4meter balcony outside our flat...) because hopefully, Spring is coming soon.  I have quite a bad track record when it comes to growing things - instead of green fingers, I have death-fingers, or so it seems, with a rubber plant that now adorns my flat being the only thing I've ever grown that has lived longer than six months.

A tiny evil creature.  Elvis had the right idea.  Eat 'em!

With the help of Mrs Soup (and the valiant efforts of Suttons Seeds and the local B&Q) we now have seeds a' plenty (two varieties of beetroot, kohlrabi, borlotti beans, raspberries etc) and some nice specially designed growing containers just for teeny tiny balconies.  So the scene is set for some growing type actives come spring.  We shall see what happens, and whether the plants survive for more than a month against the terrors of inclement weather, forgetting to water them and the marauding squirrels that dive-bomb the balcony (and were responsible for destroying not one, not two but three bird feeders...)

I will certainly keep you updated, and hopefully, the results will be incorporated into a few soups come harvest time (and I might organize a mini Harvest Festival like we had in school)

But one thing that I keep trying to grow, and that keep dying, is a good crop of herbs.  If anyone has any tips, please let me know in the comments section - you could just be a life-saver.  One herb plant that I have tried at least three times, and three times have watched in horror is it turned brown and whithered, is Rosemary - it's one of my favourite flavors, goes so well with lamb (my favourite meat) as well as so many other things, including being used in this soup, which is a really nice variation on the classic Broccoli and Stilton soup.

Anyway, this soup is great for these spring-is-not-yet-here evenings...

5 Leeks - Trimmed
1 Small Onion
2 Medium Potatoes
3 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
1tsp Minced Garlic
1.5l Chicken Stock
1tsp English Mustard
150g Soft Blue Cheese
Salt and Pepper
Cooking Oil


Peel and cube the potatoes, chop the onion and strip to rosemary sprigs of the green bits (just pull them off roughly and don't worry about chopping them at this stage)

In your soup pan, heat the oil and then add the potatoes, onion, rosemary and garlic.  Cook this with the lid on over a low heat for around 5 minutes, until everything has started to soften and the rosemary starts to release its wonderful smells and flavour.

Roughly chop the leeks (green bits and all) and then toss them into the pan, stirring them in and cooking for another 5 or so minutes, until they are nice and soft too.

At this point, add the stock and bring the pan to a simmer, then cook the soup for 30  minutes.

Cut the cheese up into cubes and then stir these into the soup and add the mustard, then with either a stick blender or a food processor, blend the soup until it's smooth.  As always, pass it through a sieve for a smoother texture if you wish (and I do wish - I hate soup that's more puree than soup)  This also helps get rid of any bits of rosemary that might be lurking in the soup

Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste and then heat through, garnish with a bit of grated nutmeg, before serving with some nice (preferably home-made) bread to warm you up on a cold winter's evening.  Enjoy!


  1. The bay "tree" must have been going for close to 6 months now, and is going strong after being brought inside for winter.

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