In some ways, Tom and I were lucky this year as we didn’t end up with tons of left over food that we had to think of different ways to use it up. Along with our friends (there were 18 of us in all), we cooked Christmas dinner together. Each taking an element or two and brought it all together. It was wonderful and such an enjoyable way to spend Christmas. But, we obviously did far too much food! A lot of the veg just ended up getting chucked as no one would have used it, but the meat and the cheese was a different matter.
I was going to do the usual and make a turkey and ham pie, but I really don’t like turkey to be honest. Plus, we had a five bird roast and it would have been a shame to just bung it in a pie, for a lot of it to go to waste. As we were all so full after our Christmas dinner, most of the cheese went untouched. There was also a fair amount of gammon left. However, instead of doing the traditional pea and ham soup (which is always bland AF), I thought I would make a broccoli and stilton – because who doesn’t love loads of melted cheese? – but stir in the left over gammon to cut through the richness and elevate an ‘ordinary’ soup to the next level. Plus, it was a great way to use up those leftovers.
I’ve only cooked broccoli and stilton soup once before, but I have to say, this was one of the best soups I’ve ever tasted. Not to blow my own trumpet, but it was really delicious. Soup is the easiest thing to make. Even the less confident cook could do it and feel accomplished at the end of it. This recipe serves 4 and is super simple to do.
Prep time: 10 minutes.
Cooking time: 45 minutes – 1 hour.
- 300g broccoli – roughly chopped, including the stalk.
- 200g frozen garden peas.
- 1 large brown onion sliced.
- 300g stilton.
- 100ml double cream.
- 750ml vegetable stock.
- 500ml white wine.
- Ground black pepper.
- 1 tbsp dried mixed herbs.
- 1 tsp lazy garlic.
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce.
- 2 tsp french mustard.
- 2 star anise.
- 4 cloves.
- 50g butter.
- Gammon to garnish.
- In a large saucepan, heat up the butter and fry the garlic and onion on a gentle heat for 10 minutes.
- Add the broccoli, black pepper, mixed herbs and Worcestershire sauce. DO NOT add salt. The stilton and gammon are salty enough to provide that seasoning. Stir thoroughly and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Then add the star anise, cloves, peas and mustard.
- Next, gradually add the wine to the soup. You need it all to reduce so you are just left with a hint of the flavour in the final product. I actually used a crappy bottle of prosecco that we would have never drunk, so just use what you have!
- When the wine has cooked down enough, add the vegetable stock and leave to simmer for 20 minutes.
- Turn the heat down low and add the stilton. Once it has all melted, remove from the heat and blitz it up.
- Stir through the cream and serve with the gammon on top.