Just have to share this recipe with you – it isn’t you most good looking soup but don’t judge a book by its cover!! This is the perfect soup to use up stale crusty bread and blue cheese. I still have some wonderful Stilton from Christmas brought from the UK by friends and it was perfect, although any tasty blue cheese will do, in fact most good mature hard cheeses would be fine.
It is a French recipe and it is adapted from The French Market by Joanne Harris and Fran Warde, making it veggie and suiting the things I had to hand. The French are pretty good at recipes for stale bread as baguettes do really need to be eaten on the day you buy them, baguette tradition might last a bit longer but really they become more useful for hitting things with than eating pretty quickly.
2 onions, chopped
3 potatoes, peeled and diced
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
a bouquet garni – I didn’t have any fresh herbs so threw in some Italian Herbs but Herbes de Provence would work as well, whatever you have or like.
half a small savoy cabbage, roughly chopped. (Any green or white cabbage would do, in fact slicing up some Brussels would work)
half a sweet potato, peeled and diced
a can of white haricot beans (you could use different beans – flageolot beans worked )
A generous shake from a bag of frozen broad beans (optional)
About 1.5 litres of water or stock
Some stale crusty bread
Blue cheese (or whatever cheese you have)
Into the water or stock, on the hob and add the onions, garlic, herbs, potato, sweet potato, cabbage and the beans with the fluid from the can (maybe not do that if you choose to use kidney beans as the resulting soup would look quite yukky!!). Get this to a boil and then turn down the heat and leave to simmer for 40 mins. Add the frozen broad beans and leave for a further 10 minutes. The soup should be quite thick.
Prepare the bowls. In each bowl put a handful or so of the chopped stale bread and on top crumble a generous lump of blue cheese or small pieces of whatever cheese you have to hand.
Then ladle the soup over the bread and cheese, add black pepper to taste and enjoy!! The soup is even better the next day. I made it on Sunday whilst making dinner to eat on Monday. It was so good and filling. Delicious. Comforting on a rainy January evening.
I love the way the stale bread gets a dumpling consistency and the cheese melts through the soup but every now and then you get a really cheesy hit. I hadn’t made this for ages and had forgotten just how good it was.