Broccoli and Blue Cheese Soup

Staff Writer
On a unforgettable Cheese Journey in England, we brought home this recipe for soup
Rich, Creamy Broccoli and Blue Cheese Soup
Monte Mathews

I made a huge batch of soup. This recipe yielded 2 quarts.  I served 1½ cup portions. In retrospect, the soup is so rich, a more sensible portion would be a single cup.  This recipe will yield 8 servings of that size.  The cheese should be to taste. But I wanted the Stilton to come through, so I used fully a half pound of cheese. This soup was served at lunch with a buffet of cold ham, hard-cooked eggs, and several salads.  It would be a very nice opening to a dinner party.  There’s one caution: Ringing in my ears as I ladled the leftover soup into containers was the admonishment by one of my fellow travelers and cheese authorities, Jamie Png, ‘never, never, never freeze cheese’.  If you don’t serve all the soup at once, enjoy it the next day or two. 

          I’ve just been in England on an incredible trip.  I joined Cheese Journeys, a remarkable travel company that specializes in taking Cheese aficionados on in-depth Cheese Tours (www.cheesejourneys.com). We went from London to Devon and Somerset, seeing Cheese being made and much, much more in the glorious English countryside.  And the first thing I did when I got home was to re-create one of the extraordinary dishes we were treated to. 

          Created by one of the two private chefs who accompany its Cheese travelers, this soup was a huge hit. All my fellow Cheese Heads were clamoring for the recipe. I took it upon myself to sit down with the chef and get it.  This is a lovely rich, creamy soup.  Broccoli and a slew of supporting vegetables create a broth to which Cream and Blue Cheese are added at the last moment.  While I went out and bought England’s most famous Blue Cheese, Stilton, specifically to make the soup, you could easily use any leftover Blue from your next Cheese Board. 

          Our Cheese Journey menus were all the work of two incredibly talented London Chefs who accompanied us to the Country House estates where we stayed in Devon and Somerset.  Led by Sylvain Jamois, chef and food stylist, the two chefs worked tirelessly to make memorable meals.  I was particularly impressed by their use of ‘leftovers’.  A good example is this soup.  While I went out and bought England’s most famous Blue Cheese, Stilton, specifically to make the soup, you could easily use any leftover Blue from your next Cheese Board.  That’s what the author of this recipe did.     

         The Chef in question was Musa Francis.   Half Indian, half English, “with a touch of French thrown in”, Musa is a private chef in London. And believe it or not, he has a very specific clientele: Architects.  He counts some very famous names among his patrons.  And this soup makes it easy to taste why.  Take your time cooking it.  Let the leeks, onion and garlic melt into the butter before adding the celery, carrots and broccoli stalks and cook them down before adding the Chicken Stock and water. Cook that for a good half hour or more.  Puree the soup with an immersion blender.  (If you don’t have one, use a blender and purée the soup in batches.). Add the florets for a further 15 minutes, puree again. Then add the cream and the cheese, use a heavy hand with the salt and taste as you go along.

Ready in
1 3/4 h
Prep15 m
Cook1 1/2 h
8
Servings
460
Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients
Makes
8 cups

Notes

Any blue cheese will work here.  We sampled raw milk cheeses in Britain.  Stichelton, in particular, is a raw milk cheese that gives Stilton a run for its money. 

Ingredients

For the Broccoli and Blue Cheese Soup

  • 1/4 Pound Unsalted Butter
  • 2 Leeks, white parts only, sliced
  • 1 Sweet Onion, diced
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 Head of Celery, sliced
  • 1 Cup Carrots, sliced
  • 2 Heads of Broccoli, the stalks seperated from the florets, in large dice
  • 6 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 Pound Stilton or other Blue Cheese, crumbled
  • 1 Zest of Lemon

Directions

For the Broccoli and Blue Cheese Soup

1. In a Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-low heat.  Add the leeks, onion and garlic and cook them until softened and lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

2. Add the celery, carrots and broccoli stalks and cook a further 15 minutes until they are softened.

3. Add the Chicken stock and water.  Bring the soup to a rolling boil then turn the heat down and simmer for at least 30 minutes.

4. Use the immersion blender to thoroughly blend the vegetables into a smooth purée. 

5. Add the broccoli florets and cook for about 15 minutes more.

6. Use the immersion blender again to puree the florets. Add the cream and stir. Then add the Stilton (or other blue cheese) in chunks pureeing and tasting as you go.  Use salt liberally until the taste is just right.

7. Using a Microplane, liberally dust the top of each bowl of soup with lemon zest. Serve, preferably with some crusty bread and salted butter.

Cheese Shopping Tip

If a piece of cheese smells strongly of ammonia, don't buy it. This is typically a sign of spoilage.

Cheese Cooking Tip

Allow cheese to come to room temperature before serving. This will accentuate the flavors and aromas.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
34g
52%
Sugar
10g
N/A
Saturated Fat
20g
100%
Cholesterol
98mg
33%
Protein
17g
33%
Carbs
27g
9%
Vitamin A
472µg
52%
Vitamin B12
0.4µg
7.1%
Vitamin B6
0.6mg
29.5%
Vitamin C
146mg
100%
Vitamin D
0.6µg
0.1%
Vitamin E
2mg
12%
Vitamin K
173µg
100%
Calcium
286mg
29%
Fiber
6g
22%
Folate (food)
148µg
N/A
Folate equivalent (total)
138µg
35%
Iron
2mg
13%
Magnesium
62mg
16%
Monounsaturated
9g
N/A
Niacin (B3)
4mg
22%
Phosphorus
311mg
44%
Polyunsaturated
2g
N/A
Potassium
947mg
27%
Riboflavin (B2)
0.5mg
29.9%
Sodium
674mg
28%
Thiamin (B1)
0.2mg
15.6%
Trans
0.5g
N/A
Zinc
2mg
12%

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