Broccoli, blue cheese + chargrilled pear soup12

Posted on April 12, 2011 by ChristieDinner Time, Gluten Free, Taste Tests, Vegetarian

Remember last week when I received those pears to cook with? This is what I made!

This recipe has now been entered into a competition run by PR company Impact Communications and will be judged by David Bitton. I’m a big fan of his lovely cafe in Alexandria so it’s a bit nerve-wracking, to say the least.

Autumn is the perfect time to get cosy with a steaming bowl of soup. As the weather gets colder it’s nice to indulge in richer ingredients like blue cheese and have a bit of fun by doing something different with seasonal fruit, like chargrilling it.

Or if you have simple tastes, like my five month old daughter Poppy, you simply suck on thick slices of pear that have been chilled in the fridge to soothe your teething gums. You can read more about that here.

For grown ups, chargrilling pear is an interesting flavour and texture sensation, and it offsets the strong blue cheese and slightly bitter broccoli with a welcome sweetness.

Happy cooking! Christie x

Broccoli, blue cheese and chargrilled pear soup recipe
serves 4 as a starter

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium leek, white part only, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
500g broccoli, about 2 medium heads including stems
4 Packham pears
1 litre vegetable stock or water
100ml cream
80g blue vein cheese
salt, ground white pepper, ground black pepper

1. Place a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil, sliced leeks and garlic and saute for 5 minutes until softened, but not coloured.

2. Wash the broccoli and chop into small florets and thinly slice the stems. Add to the pot. Peel and core two of the pears. Roughly chop and add to the pot.

3. Pour in the stock or water and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down a bit and gently boil for 20 minutes until the broccoli and pear are very soft.

4. Blitz with a stick blender until very smooth then remove from the heat and crumble in the cheese, pour in the cream and stir until the cheese melts and everything is well combined. Season with salt and white pepper. Keep warm.

5. Heat a chargrill pan over high heat. Chop the remaining two pears into quarters and cut out the core. Thinly slice into 1/2 cm wedges and season both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Grill on both sides for a minute or so until the fruit is tender and has black/brown grill lines.

6. Serve the soup in warmed bowls topped with the chargrilled pear and toast soldiers on the side.

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