06 February 2011

Apple and Blue Cheese Soup

When my parents were at university, they made stilton and cider soup. When I was at university, I also made stilton and cider soup. It was rich and decadent and the kind of soup that you could spread on toast. Out here in Korea, after buying Blue Cheese! in Seoul, it was the first thing I wanted to make - with, of course, substitutions. I mentioned earlier how we are in a cider-free country (except for the fact that Sprite is known as 'cider', which I swear was only done to annoy me). So, apple it was.

I made this soup alcohol-free, because I did make it just after getting out of bed this morning, but feel free to use cider yourself, or use white wine to deglaze the pan after the onion has softened. Adding a potato will thicken it, and be careful not to over-salt - just keep tasting it until it's right. The blue cheese will make the back of your throat burn slightly as you eat it, which I like, but will make you wary of eating too much.

Apple and Blue Cheese Soup
Makes 3-4 servings

1 tablespoon oil
Half an onion
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon flour
200ml milk
250ml apple juice
1 apple
1 teaspoon chicken stock powder
60g blue cheese

Finely chop the onion and garlic and fry it in an oiled pan over a low heat.

Once softened, stir the flour in to form a roux, and pour the milk in. Stir and simmer.

Peel the apple if you want, although I didn't bother, core it and chop it into chunks. Mine were quite large because I knew I was going to blend the apple later anyway.

Add the apple juice, stock and apple (I added about 7/8ths and ate the last eighth). How long this next step takes is pretty much up to you, and how much soup you want, and how concentrated you want it to be. I wanted quite a lot of soup, and I was hungry, so let the milk mixture simmer for five minutes and the milk-apple juice mixture for about ten.

Once you are happy with the amount of soup left, transfer the larger chunks of apple and onion to a blender with some of the liquid and pulse in batches, until it has reached the consistency you like. (This is the point where those of you with immersion blenders can laugh in my face.)

Reheat the blended soup on a very low heat and add the blue cheese, chopped or just in one large chunk. Stir it, heating gently, until the soup has melted. Taste again and season - I needed to add a fair amount of salt and some Parmesan dust to mine.

Serve with bread. Eating this soup is blissful, and makes it very easy to ignore the person you're living with, who hates blue cheese and is complaining about how you've stunk the flat out.