Friday, February 11, 2005

Episode I: Scottish Stilton Soup.

Scottish Stilton Soup Originally uploaded by Siddity.
Did you know I love cheese? Yes? Well, did you know I love Scotland (even though I've never been)? No? Well, I do. The idea of it, anyway. You know, verdant hills, brisk air, thick rogues with thick brogues (in skirts no-fucking-less--cha-ching! I know, they're called kilts, and only worn on special occasions. Whatever. Hot boys in skirts! Teehee!), stiff drinks called Glen-thisorthat. Mint! (Can we bring "mint" back as an expression of joy and/or excitement? I like it.) So. Scotland and cheese. About a year ago I saw an episode of the Food Network show "A Cook's Tour," with Anthony Bourdain (am I the only one who hates this guy and thinks he may be an asshat in real life?). Bourdain was in Scotland. I really hate Bourdain, but I really like the idea of Scotland, in general, so I watched as he assed around being an asshat in a chip shop where they deep fried damn near everything, and then he headed off for haggis and then...wait a minute. I think I'm mixing the Bourdain Scotland show up with something else, because I don't think he did the stilton soup. But I still hate that guy. Anyway, something I watched had a Scottish stilton soup in it, and I thought it was just genius. Creamy cheesy soup! To eat after a long day tending sheep on the moors! You know, or whatever. I tried to make it myself from memory, with some small success. It wasn't terrible, but I distinctly recall telling a friend that I wasn't sure if I'd made it wrong or perfectly and that it was just as good as Scottish cuisine got. Hm. So, not the best. But I've decided, with the arrival of my hot new immersion blender and cute veggie santoku knife, that it is time to get busy in the kizzy. First stop, Scottish highlands. [I got the recipe online, from, by googling "scottish stilton soup." I don't know why this didn't occur to me a year ago.] Being absolutely incapable of just fucking following simple directions, though, I had to tweak the recipe so it wasn't so, you know, obscenely fatty and dangerous to one's health. The original can be found here. Here's my tweaked version: 1 head cauliflower 1/2 c. diced shallots 1/2 c. diced carrots 1 bay leaf [WTF is up with bay leaves? And why do recipes only ever require you use one? How did that shit come about? Did somebody make soup with the window open one day, have a single bay leaf blow into the soup, and discover that it suddenly made the prize-winning family recipe a hundred times better?] 1/4 c butter (we do NOT do margarine in this kitchen, RG bitches.) 1/4 tsp. white pepper 2 c. vegetable broth (unsalted, non-tomato based) 1 1/2 c. skim milk 1 1/2 c. crumbled stilton cheese 1 tsp. sea salt Boil the bejesus out of cauliflower (until tender). Remove florets from stem, chop and set aside. Discard stem. In 3 qt. saucepan saute shallots, bay leaf and carrots in pan with butter over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Turn off heat. Remove bay leaf. Add cool broth, milk and florets to saucepan and blend ingredients in saucepan with hand blender (or in standard blender) until fairly smooth. Return soup to heat and bring to a low boil, stirring constantly. Add crumbled cheese and stir until melted. Add sea salt to taste. Serve hot with crusty bread. Can I just say that this is the best soup I have ever made? Can I? Low carb, hearty, quite sophisticated flavor. It is so good with the crusty bread. Holy hell. I love, I love. Maybe you love, too? You must really like the blue cheese to like this soup, that is the one caveat. Because it is a big old bowl of blue cheese soup. But served with a sourdough crusty bread, and a nice stout or's soup heaven. All I need now is a character from this to, um, work out my tension, if you will. Mwahahaha!


At 2/11/2005 09:57:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love that kind of soup, I will try to make it too, methinks. I had it for lunch one day, and then all afternoon I wanted to run around and play, though I can't be certain that it was just because of the soup, or because it was so fun being a tourist in the rolling hills of scotland with my cousins. sigh.


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