Sunday, 20 June 2010

Broccoli Soup with Blue Cheese Croutons

Wordle: UntitledIt has been such a beautiful week that I have laid aside all thoughts of cold weather soups and instead have become obsessed with salad platters, barbecue food and picnic parties. The Green Apple Cafe has been busy but we are approaching the new summer season and I need to plan a whole new menu. I'd love to attract tourists holidaying the in the area and families looking for a relaxed place to visit during the summer holidays as well as keeping all our regulars coming to the cafe during the summer break.

We are open thursdays and fridays all through the summer holidays and seasonal salads, tapas-style plates and freshly made paninis and sandwiches will be on the menu along with frappés, milkshakes and smoothies. All this warm weather food means I am experimenting like mad at home trying to come up with new salads, soups and fresh flavours for summer. Blue cheese and broccoli are a magical combination, the blue cheese transforming the soup from a light and frugal meal into a rich and complex supper dish.

If the weather stays as beautiful, come and enjoy the gardens and playpark. If the skies open, just come along and enjoy the food! 

Broccoli Soup with Blue Cheese Croutons

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped finely
2 garlic cloves, crushed
500ml vegetable stock
350g broccoli, chopped roughly
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped into small cubes
Salt, pepper and fresh nutmeg
4 thin slices of baguette or other crusty bread
2 tbsp olive oil
100g blue cheese

Preheat the oven to 160C.
For the soup:
Heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the onions and garlic together until soft.  
Add the stock and broccoli together along with the chopped potatoes. 
Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are tender. 
Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. 
Season to taste with salt, pepper and a little freshly grated nutmeg.

For the croutons:
Brush the bread with olive oil then top with sliced or crumbled blue cheese (depending on the texture of the cheese)
Place the slices on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes until the bread is crispy and the cheese melted. 
Cut the bread into small squares. 
Serve the soup scattered with a few blue cheese croutons.

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