My mum makes the best broccoli and stilton soup, bowls steaming on the kitchen table, just when we need them most on a cold, weary Autumn weekend - as if by magic. This is my sort-of ode to the recipe, but with slightly fresher flavours of peas, mint and a squeeze of lemon juice for good measure.
A good quality stock will make a world of difference to flavour here. While some of us love the funk blue cheese gives, I know not everybody is a fan, so I’ve left the option to sprinkle it on top rather than blend it in - it tastes just as good.
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 spring onions, finely sliced
2-3 garlic cloves, grated
1 head broccoli, roughly chopped
1 litre vegetable or chicken stock
500g frozen peas
Small bunch of fresh mint leaves
Juice of ½ a lemon
100g blue cheese
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
A few good grinds of black pepper
Pour the olive oil into a large saucepan and place over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add in the spring onions and stir to coat. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until softened, then add in the garlic and cook for a further minute.
Tumble in the broccoli and pour in the vegetable stock and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the broccoli is just soft.
Tip in the frozen peas and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until plump and hot through. Add in the mint leaves and lemon juice and use a hand held blender to blitz until smooth.
Add the hazelnuts to a frying pan and toast over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until golden at the edges and smelling deliciously nutty. Tip onto a plate to cool before roughly chopping.
Re-warm the soup if you need to, before ladling into bowls. Crumble the blue cheese on top and sprinkle over the hazelnuts. Drizzle with the extra-virgin olive oil and finish with a few good grinds of black pepper.
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