I love soup for supper! In fact, I've never met anyone who doesn't enjoy a steaming bowl of great soup, along with some good bread and a salad on a cold winters night! Last nights inspiration came from a wedge of Rogue Creamery's "Smoky Blue" that was leftover from our Winter Solstice party and a bottle of Tawny port that I hadn't yet put away! Add a bit a bacon, some potatoes and a generous ladleful of cream and you have a very elegant soup that you'll definitely want seconds of.
Here's a description of the Rogue Creamery smoky blue from Rogue Creamery.com. It's guaranteed to make you want to run out and buy the biggest chunk of it that you can afford! The fragrance alone is incredible but the cheese is buttery, wonderful and delicious . So far I've melted it on hamburgers and pork chops, crumbled it into salads, made this soup and served it with pears, grapes, apples and crusty bread. Rogue Creamery smoky "Oregon Blue" can be found at any great cheese counter near you! Don't buy it just on my recommendation though…Ask for a taste. Your taste buds will begin to tingle and your senses will dance…I promise!
"A long, gentle cold-smoking over shells from Oregon hazelnuts infuses Rogue Creamery’s Smokey Blue cheese with an added layer of rich flavor and terroir. Sweet cream flavors and caramel notes balance earthy flavors of smoke and hints of roasted nuts. The result is a cakey yet smooth blue cheese reminiscent of candied bacon." Rogue Creamery.com
This recipe is very simple. Just saute a cup of chopped onion, 2 cups of thinly sliced leeks, some fresh sage and about a cup and a half of diced, organic (if possible!) bacon with a half a stick of butter in a stockpot until gently browned. Add 3 cups of diced yukon gold potatoes and 6 cups of good chicken broth and a bottle of rich ,dark milk stout and let the whole thing simmer for about 20 minutes. Then add about a tablespoon of fresh thyme, 1/4 cup of slow roasted garlic and 2 and a half cups of crumbled blue cheese, for this I used a combination of the smoked blue and some stilton. Stir in the cheese(it melts easily) and add a pint of heavy cream. (I said this was delicious but I didn't say it was low cal!) Let it simmer for about 10 minutes and then give it one or two turns with an immersion blender ! This last step isn't necessary, but I like my soup a bit creamier! Last but not least, I added some chopped green onion and caramelized pear for a pretty garnish. A twist of a pepper grinder makes it piquant, but you probably won't need any salt!
I served this last night as a main course with a simple salad of fresh pear, walnut, golden beets and red onion dressed with a French apple cider vinegar and a bit of garlic oil and of course, lots of crusty good bread! A glass of hard cider is the perfect compliment for this soup, or a white wine that's a tad sweeter, perhaps a Viognier ? There is plenty left over for tonight so I will probably serve it as a first course with a pear and pecan puree and a tiny bit of shredded organic ham for the garnish. It will be a delicious first course alongside the chicken that I'll set to roasting in the oven very soon!
So tell me. What are your favorite soups to keep you warm on a cold winters day?
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