Mrs. Jackson Cooks

Life through food

A new approach to broccoli and stilton

on January 6, 2011

A side thought: I’m trying a new theme on the blog – new year, new theme – what do you think?  Do you like it or shall I put the other one back?  I’m really not sure myself.  Thoughts appreciated.

We came back from Scotland to some slightly miserable looking vegetables in the fridge.  They’re still perfectly edible, not gone off or mouldy or anything, but just looking a little bit sorry for themselves.  And since its January and I’m looking to lose the weight I put on over Christmas, and I’m totally skint until I get paid in a couple of weeks, soups for lunches seemed like the obvious choice.  Cheap, cheerful, warming, healthy and full of energy.  Perfect.  Plus they perk up miserable vegetables that have spent too long in the fridge.

So I was leafing through my cookbooks and came across some interesting Italian soups, but then I sat down to watch tv and couldn’t be bothered to make soup.  And then yesterday,  I was on the the foodpress (wordpress’ collection of food blogs its thinks are interesting) and found this recipe.  It sounded delicious, like something out of an M&S advert and I was hooked.

When I came back to it to make it though, I found it slightly intimidating.  Much like the M&S adverts, unless you’re actually buying the stuff from M&S, you’ve no idea how to make it so it sounds as delicious as they make it sound.  All those posh words and weird ingredients are a bit intimidating. I realise the blog isn’t about recipes so much as writing things like the M&S adverts – hence the name of edible arias.  And it certainly is a great place to start getting you excited about food.  Just not so great at helping you make it.

So I broke it down and realised it was just roasted potatoes and broccoli in a cheesy soup.  Easy peasy.  Except, this blog has no quantities.  So that was a bit tricky.  I had to make it up as I went along.  Plus I also ignored all the things like ‘gold yukon potatoes’ and went for ‘asda baking potatoes’ instead.  Not quite the same ring to it, but still tasty.   So I’m reproducing the recipe here, with quantities and normal ingredients, so it’s less intimidating.  If you want to read the M&S advert version, then I really recommend the edible arias blog.

The great things about this recipe are that you don’t wizz it up in a blender, so you don’t really need any technical kitchen equipment – just a saucepan, an oven and a baking tray of some sort.   And it’s vegetarian, so great for those who are on a ‘no meat january’ or just vegetarians all year round.  But it’s got cheese in it, so no good for the vegans.  But you can’t please everyone all the time.

Chunky broccoli, potato and stilton soup

Serves 4 (hopefully!)

3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1cm chunks

1 medium brocolli head, stalk removed, peeled & chopped into small chunks, and head chopped into florets

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

salt and pepper

2 tbsp oil (I used olive)

700ml chicken stock (or homemade vegetable stock)

50g mature cheddar cheese, grated

20g stilton cheese, crumbled

1 tsp chilli powder (leave out if you don’t want too spicy)

2 tsp chilli flakes

1 tsp hot paprika

  1. Pre-heat the oven to about 200 degrees celsius.  Place the potato, brocolli and garlic on a baking tray or dish.  Cover in the oil and a liberal amount of seasoning.  Mix well to combine and spread out evenly across the baking tray.  Put in the oven for about 30 minutes to roast.  But keep an eye on it and give it a good stir occasionally to make sure it cooks evenly.  When the potatoes are golden and the broccoli has started to brown, turn off the oven, but leave the veges in there to stay warm.
  2. Next, using a large saucepan, add the stock and bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer.  Then add the cheeses and the spices.  Next, tumble in the contents of the baking tray and give it all a good mix.  Make sure it’s warmed through before serving.  Check for taste, and adjust any seasoning.
  3. Give the bottom of the pan a good scrape with your spatula or spoon as the cheese likes to stick to it.  Then, making sure you get lots of veges and cheese, serve into bowls with farmhouse bread.  You may want to sprinkle a bit of the cheese on top.
  4. Enjoy!

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