The Prince of Wales Hotel/Niagara on The Lake!
Smoked Blue Cheese soup with Port

Smoked Blue Cheese soup with Port

I love soup! 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 New Years, and a bottle of Tawny port that I hadn't put away yet! Add a bit a bacon, some potatoes and a generous ladleful of cream and you have a very elegant soup. I've added a description from IGourmet for the Rogue Creamery blue. It's guaranteed to make you want to run out and buy the biggest chunk of it that you can afford! Trust me, it's worth it!  So far I've melted it on hamburgers, crumbled it onto salads, made this soup and served it with pears and great bread. If you are a native Clevelander like me, you can buy this wonderful cheese at Pat O'Briens, THE fine wine and beverage store located in Landerwood Plaza in Pepper Pike.

2005_1226soup0008" Rogue Creamery's "Oregon Blue" is the first blue cheese recipe made on the west coast and they thought it only fitting that this classic recipe become the first blue cheese ever smoked. The result is magic! "Oregon Blue" is a classic Roquefort style blue cheese that is cold smoked 16 hours with Oregon Hazelnut shells. The smoking process releases a sweet creamy Smokey flavor that balances both the sharp blue flavor and sweet creamy flavor of the 100% natural full cream sustainable milk from Bonanza View Dairy."

The recipe is very simple. Just saute a cup of chopped onion,and about a cup and a half of diced bacon with  a half a stick   of butter in a soupot until gently browned. Add 3 cups of diced redskin potatoes and 6 cups of good chicken broth and let the whole thing simmer for about 20 minutes. Then add about 2 and a half cups of crumbled blue cheese, for this I used a combination of the smoked blue and some stilton.  Stir that in (it melts easily)and add a pint of heavy cream. Let the whole thing just simmer nicely for about 10 minutes, and then add about 2 shot glasses of port!  Because this was such a creamy soup I  added some chopped green onion for a pretty garnish.

I served this last night as a main course with a simple salad of fresh pear and red onion dressed with a French apple cider vinegar and a bit of garlic oil and of course, lots of good bread!  I have some of this soup leftover, and tonight I will probably serve it as a first course with a pear and pecan puree  and a tiny bit of shredded pork. Look for pictures later!   

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