Thursday, 16 February 2012

Slow cooker Broccoli (Stalk) and Silton soup

Although I've was a little slack in posting on here over the festive period and January (sorry 'bout that) I have been pretty industrious with the slow cooker once again.  This colder weather is what they excell at - nothing is nicer than coming in the door after a long day at work and being greeted by the aroma of a hot meal ready to eat.  Mmmmm - it helps with the cosiness factor I can tell you!  This soup was one I had in mind to try in the slow cooker for a while having come to the realisation that Broccoli (Calabrese really) stalks are actually very good and should on no account just be ditched into the nearest bin.  Now - I won't pay for excess stalk on purpose and am one of those people with no compunctions or embarassment about standing in the stupormarket or outside the veg shop breaking off the massive stalk from the head of calabrese I want.  If you get it on offer when it's prepackaged you don't get the option of breaking it off but I'll only buy it like this if it's a very good offer - like Aldi's super 6.   However you buy it though; you always end up with some excess stalk so this is a great way to make something of it.  We had, I was somewhat startled to realise, a whole pound of the stuff sitting in the fridge from just a few heads worth along with a surfeit of stilton (festive work gifts for the Chap along with a rather good bottle of port) so this was the ideal combination.

Broc' Stalk & Stilton Soup
1/2 an onion - chopped
2-4 cloves garlic - chopped
1lb broccoli stalks chopped plus a few florets to jazz up the soup if you have some
2pt vegetable stock
2-3 bay leaves
A pinch-.5 tsp each of dried parsley, thyme, oregano and rosemary or use a bouquet garni
1 spud chopped
Couple of tired cabbage leaves (not essential fairly obviously but chuck them in if they're lying around needing to be used up)
2-3oz stilton
S+P if/as needed
Small splosh white wine if you happen to have a bottle open - optional
To serve - a little soured cream / creme fraiche if wanted

Heat the evoo in a frying pan and add the chopped onion and garlic.  Fry off gently until softened.
Add them with all the other ingredients bar the florets, stilton, wine and salt to the SC on high for 3 hours.
Add the florets and leave a further 2 hours (I'm sure you could leave this less time or the whole lot on low for longer  - adjust to suit your schedule.)
Crumble 1oz of the stilton in and blend. 
Taste and adjust seasoning - leaving the salt out for now as cheese contains salt.
If wanted add another 1oz of stilton and blend again then taste again.  Add the final 1 oz if wanted / to taste.
Add the wine and gently reheat when needed.  Can be served with a little soured cream / creme fraiche on top. 

Makes a virtuously cheap yet tasty, nourishing and warming dish.  Couple with some freshly baked warm beer bread rolls and you're onto a frugal winner! 


  1. Stalks are the best bits of broc. I used to peel them and slice them then sauté and serve to guests who were mystified by them.

    Are you aware that Blogger has introduced Word Verification that has two words, to your blog? Sneaky eh?

  2. Stalks are lovely - if you're cooking them for a fairly long while they don't even need to be peeled except for any very woody bits. :-)
    Not sure about the verification - it varies whether it asks me to or not. I'll try and ascertain where the setting is for that!


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