Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Get Souped Up for the Summer; FOOD JANE LOVETT

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Get Souped Up for the Summer; FOOD JANE LOVETT

Article excerpt

THIS recipe for celery and blue cheese soup straddles the transition from winter into summer.

It still can be the weather for warming soup (unfortunately!) but not the heavier rib-sticking, sustaining root vegetable ones of winter. This is fresher and lighter.

Celery has a fairly mild flavour and makes delicious soup - particularly if it is enhanced with a little blue cheese.

As it tends to be stringy, and to ensure a velvety smooth soup, it is well worth sieving the soup after liquidising.

While on the subject of liquidising any soup, this does not work in a food processor. It just swishes all the liquid around, not properly pulverising the solids.

A blender, liquidiser or hand-held 'wand' is much the best tool.

This soup is also delicious cold, although you might like to wait a while before contemplating such a thing. If serving cold, omit the butter when sweating the vegetables at the beginning. It is important not to boil the soup having added the cheese. Reheat to just under boiling point.

The blue cheese croutes turn this into a sustaining lunch or supper.

The blue cheese and walnut rarebits would be good with all manner of soups and also as a starter or lunch on their own - like bruschetta - with different toppings such as a mound of lightly dressed rocket; oven roast cherry tomatoes on the vine; tomato, basil and black olive salsa etc. Find lots more recipes in Jane's book Make it Easy available from www.janelovett.com bookshops and Amazon. Follow Jane on Twitter @Jane_Lovett CELERY AND BLUE CHEESE SOUP (serves 4-6):? 1 head of celery ? olive oil ? a knob of butter ? 1 large onion, roughly chopped ? 1heaped tbsp flour (or 1 medium sized potato, sliced) ? 850 ml (11/2 pts) chicken or vegetable stock (or use 2 cubes) ? salt and freshly ground black pepper ? 55g (2 oz) blue cheese (optional) ? nutmeg ? 4 tbsp cream (optional) 1. Cut the root off the celery, wash the sticks and chop into chunks, leaves and all. (You may like to reserve a few leaves for decoration.) Heat a little olive oil and a small knob of butter in a saucepan, add the celery and onion, cover with a lid and cook gently for about 10 minutes until soft but not coloured. …

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