This week, my daughter, Alice, her husband, Ben and four friends ( Will, (another) Will, Alex and Jenn are walking the The West Highland Way, a linear long distance footpath in Scotland. It is 154 km long, running from Milngavie north of Glasgow to Fort William in the Scottish Highlands to raise money for a charity for children. They are walking it in 5 days instead of the usual 7 which means an average of 21 miles a day. Yesterday apparently proved very hard as there was practically no footpath and they ended up, after 12 hours, walking it in the dark with headlamps! I am so unbelievably proud of all of them that this week’s recipe is especially for Alice – one of her favourite soups, which I am sure she would love to find at the end of a cold and wet day.
Broccoli and Stilton Soup
- 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
- 1 small onion
- 1 stick celery (don’t worry about the rest – wrap in tin foil and put in the fridge – it will keep for ages there!)
- 1 small leek
- 1 small potato
- 1 knob butter (how big is a knob? As big or small as you love butter)
- 1/2 litre chicken or vegetable stock (from a stock cube will do)
- 1/2 head broccoli
- 50g (ish) stilton, crumbled
Heat 1 tbsp rapeseed oil in a large saucepan and then add finely chopped onion. Cook on a medium heat until soft. Add a splash of water if the onion starts to catch.Add 1 sliced celery stick, 1 sliced leek, 1 diced small potato and a knob of butter. Stir until melted, then cover with a lid. Allow to sweat for 5 minutes then remove the lid. Pour in chicken or vegetable stock and add any chunky bits of stalk from the broccoli. Cook for 10-15 minutes until all the vegetables are soft. Add the rest of the roughly chopped broccoli and cook for a further 5 minutes. Carefully transfer to a blender and blitz until smooth. Stir in 140g crumbled stilton, allowing a few lumps to remain. Season with black pepper and serve.
And, because you will probably have some broccoli and stilton left over – something to do with them!
- 1 dessertspoon sesame seeds, lightly toasted
- 1/2 head of broccoli, cut into florets 50g frozen peas
- 1 dessertspoon soy sauce 1/2 teaspoon honey 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
- To make the dressing, mix the soy, honey and sesame oil together. Mix the seeds together. Boil the broccoli and peas for 2 mins, then drain. Tip the broccoli and peas back in the pan, pour half the dressing and half the seeds over, and shake for a few secs. Serve sprinkled with the rest of the dressing and seeds.
Roast squash and blue cheese
- 2 tbsp olive oil 1 small butternut squash 50g stilton
- Handful fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped
- Squeeze lemon juice
- Heat the oven to 200°/180°C fan/ gas 6. Put the oil in a large, shallow baking tray or casserole and put in the oven to heat up. Deseed and chop the squash into 1.5cm pieces. When the oil is very hot, add the squash, season and roast for around 1 hour, turning once or twice, until the squash pieces are deep golden and slightly charred. Crumble over the stilton, then return to the oven for 5 minutes to melt the cheese. Sprinkle over the parsley, and some salt, then squeeze over a drizzle of lemon juice and serve hot or warm.
Below is a picture of the brave walkers – and a link to their charity if you would be so kind!