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Leek and Stilton Soup

I spent my first Thanksgiving in Newport Rhode Island in freezing weather. My lovely friend Brooke cooked a feast fit for kings. We began with an aromatic soup and we ate for hours as the winds howled outside. Over the past two decades I have cooked Thanksgiving each year with great pleasure. We as all families do I am sure now have our traditions. One of ours is to begin the meal with a soup, but each year it is a new soup, one usually created for that day. This was one of my favorites and I make it many times during the autumn and winter months. It is warming and fragrant and perfect when the wind is howling.

Ingredients

  • 6 leeks green parts trimmed, the white stalks washed, cut lengthwise in half and then finely chopped
  • 2 medium sized yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into medium sized pieces
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 8 ozs Stilton Cheese, crumbled

Instructions

Pour a little olive oil in a large saucepan placed over medium heat and then add the chopped leeks and onions. Cook for 5 minutes until soft but not browned.

Add the potatoes, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook a further 3 5 minutes.

Pour in the stock and bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer, and cook until the potatoes are very soft. Approx. 20-25 minutes. Remove the thyme.

When the vegetables are cooked, puree the soup with an immersion blender (or in batches in a blender or food processor) until it is very smooth. Return the pureed soup to the saucepan and stir in the crumbled stilton until it melts and is thoroughly incorporated into the soup. Check the seasoning of the soup, adding more salt and pepper if needed.

Serving option When serving the soup, pour the soup into each bowl and add a dollop of crÃme fraiche in the center of each bowl, topping the crÃme fraiche with some finely chopped chives.

Wine pairing: a Pouilly Fusse or chardonnay

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