Blue Cheese and Broccoli Soup
Makes 6 servings (but people will likely want two servings)
Served w/ bread & salad, this is a yummy light dinner (and then people will definately want multiple servings.)

6 oz potatoes
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, finely chopped
4.5 cups chicken stock
12 ozs. broccoli
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
4 ozs. blue cheese

2 slices white bread, crusts removed
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tbsp butter
1 garlic clove, finely chopped

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 min or until soft.  Add stock and potatoes, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover & simmer 15 min (see timing notes below),  Cut broccoli into flowerets and add to pan.  Return to a boil, reduce heat, cover & simmer 6 min or until vegetables are tender. (see timing notes below)

Meanwhile, make croutons.  Cut bread into shapes  w/ a pastry cutter.  Heat oil, butter and garlic in a skillet and fry bread shapes on both sides until crisp and golden.  Remove w/ a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.  Puree soup in a blender or food processor.  Return to rised out pan, add salt and pepper, then crumble in cheese.  Reheat gently w/o boiling, until cheese has melted.  Garnish w/ croutons and serve.

From "The Complete Step-By-Step Cookbook", Copyright 1998 Salamander Books, Ltd
I recommend that you buy the book if you find it.

Notes: We first made this in Nov 02 and it was pretty yummy.  It's got a fair bit of blue cheese flavor. It's not as rich as the Country Cream of Chicken soup but is hearty in spite of not having any cream or milk. You could probably substitute some milk for some of the broth.  I tried using about 1/2c of cream sherry in place of broth since I didn't have enough broth but by the time it was all done, you couldn't tell there was wine.  Probably if you put the wine in later, it'd still have some flavor.

Timing notes: The original recipe says to cook the broccoli 10 min and then cook another 10 minutes after adding the broccoli but that makes it drab olive green.  After blending you couldn't tell how sad looking the green was but it might be prettier to cook the potatoes more before adding broccoli and then only cook the broccoli 5-6 min. I've changed the instructions above to reflect my preference.

Todo, try store bought croutons as a time saver.  The fresh croutons were quite nice, but they got soggy very quickly.

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