Ah, the heating is on and it’s time for soup. And this is one of the simplest you will ever make. The name of this reminds me of the Clangers, a British children’s TV programme from the 70s, in which the characters were always eating something called blue string pudding. No, there’s no string in the soup and no pudding…but somehow it is as comforting and soothing as a cosy afternoon wrapped up on the sofa after school watching television.
Though it is based on a classic chef’s mirepoix of celery, carrot and onions this is a soup for everyday. It’s perfect if you don’t have much equipment because you don’t need anything more than a knife and a saucepan and it’s also perfect for using up odds and sods in the fridge. I didn’t do any shopping for this because I already had a small lump of blue cheese, half a tub of cream and the veg. You can whip this up in the time it takes to say soup dragon…well, almost.
For two good portions you will need:
Cupboard (or things you may already have):
1 clove of garlic
1 dessertspoon plain flour (about 12g if you want to measure it)
500ml vegetable or chicken stock
celery stalks, four
blue cheese, 30g (something hard, like Stilton, is good; I used my newest discovery, Jervaulx Blue)
single or double cream, about 2 tablespoons
1. Prep the vegetables: top and tail then peel the onion, carrot and garlic; wash, top and tail the celery stalks (reserving any frilly leaves for garnish); finally chop everything into very small pieces.
2. Put the butter into a lidded saucepan over a medium heat and melt it then add the vegetables. Season then stir everything together, put the lid on and leave the vegetables to sweat gently until soft but not coloured (about 5-10 minutes).
3. Meanwhile make up the stock if required and mix it with the milk.
4. When the vegetables are soft, add the flour and stir to mix in well. Then add the stock and milk and simmer for about ten minutes.
5. Whilst the soup is simmering, chop the blue cheese into small pieces, mix into the cream and then, when the soup is ready, stir the cream-cheese mixture into the soup.
6. Season to taste if required then serve garnished with celery leaves.