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Monday, February 21, 2011


A bowl of warm homemade soup, especially on a cold grey day, is a joy.

If you have any left over pieces of Stilton Cheese in the freezer, this recipe is perfect for using them up. The soup doesn't take too long to make, and you are rewarded with a wonderful pan of freshly made soup. I'm not suggesting for one minute you should make the baguette to go with the soup.........

This exceedingly delicious recipe is by Antony Worrall Thompson from his days as presenter of Saturday Kitchen.

350g/12oz broccoli, florets and stalks cut into small pieces
400ml/14fl oz vegetable stock
25g/1oz butter
4 spring onions, finely sliced
50g/1¾oz Stilton, crumbled, or to taste
100ml/3½fl oz double cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
For the croûtons
4 slices French bread
100g/3½oz Stilton, sliced
For the soup, place the pieces of broccoli into a glass bowl. Pour over the vegetable stock.
Cover the bowl with cling film and place in the microwave. Cook on full power for four minutes, or until tender.
Meanwhile, heat a frying pan until hot then add the butter. When it starts to foam, add the spring onions and cook for one minute.
Transfer the cooked broccoli and stock to a food processor. Add the fried spring onions, Stilton and cream and blend until smooth.
Transfer the blended mixture to a pan and bring gently to a simmer.
Meanwhile, for the croûtons, toast the French bread under a grill until golden-brown on each side.
Top the grilled bread with the slices of Stilton and return to the grill until golden-brown and bubbling.
Season the soup with salt, freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.
Divide the soup equally among four warm bowls and top each with a Stilton croûton.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Hotel Chocolat Valentine's Day Gifts

I have been sent two Valentine's Gifts from Hotel Chocolat, firstly a beautifully presented box of Melting Hearts H-Box Selection containing hearts in 40% milk, 70% dark and 29% white chocolate, decorated in twirls and swirls. The centre of the chocolates are bursting with flavour. Pistachio Praline melts in the mouth, Strawberry Love has a tangy ganache centre and Chocolate Brownie for brownie lovers everywhere. My favourite has to be the Liquid Caramel with an oozing lightly salted caramel centre.

A beautiful engraved Milk Engraved Chocolate Heart intricately engraved with love birds and made from smooth 40% cocoa chocolate. The heart weighs 125g, so no excuses for not sharing.