Miss Kay is the chef's mentor and teacher who introduced her to the lovely combination of celery and blue cheese. This is a combination that has long been a classic and seen on the French and Italian table often in a salad, appetizers and even as desserts. The two strong flavours complement each other and play beautifully on the palate.
This is a lovely soup with an unusual flavour combination. The sharp pungency of the blue cheese is tempered by te green-ness of the celery and the spinach adds colour and a softness to the soup. The addition of cream and yoghurt adds a smooth texture on the acidic side. The sweetness of the pears is what is most surprising. the sweetness is balanced by the notes from the cheese, this soup has a lot going on. I loved the soup, creamy, rich and beautifully balanced with soft notes and lovely flavours.
This is one of the first cookbooks I purchased and one that I use quite a bit to make wonderful soups. Every page has been stained and every recipe has been amazing, this book taught me to love soups, not ordinary soups, but soups with flavour. The collection of recipes go beyond the ordinary and the chef opens up a world of amazing soups from around the world in this cookbook. This is an older cookbook, but still a classic and one that I recommend for anyone who wants to make excellent soups.
For more recipes for this amazing cookbook, click here.
2 tablespoons butter
1 large leek, washed well, halved longitudinally and thinly sliced
8 stems of celery, with a few leaves, finely sliced
1 1/2 lb baby spinach, leaves and tender stems
1/2 cup water
Salt, to taste
1 teaspoon pepper
5 cups stock, chicken stock or vegetable stock
2 large pears, cubed
4 oz. blue cheese + more for garnish
1/2 cup yoghurt
1/2 cup cream
Heat the stock in a pot and add the pears. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes till the pears are very soft. Set aside.
While the pears are simmering, heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the leeks and cook for 4-5 minutes on very low heat till they are soft. Add the celery and cook for an additional 5 minutes till they are soft. Add the spinach, water, salt, and pepper and bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes on low heat.
Add the cooked pears and simmer for 2-3 minutes Take off the heat and add the blue cheese, yoghurt and cream. Blend well with an immersion blender till very smooth. Pass the soup through a fine mesh sieve to remove any bits and fibres for a very smooth soup. Taste fr salt.
To serve heat the soup up till warm. NEVER boil the soup, it will split due to the acids in the cheese and yoghurt. Serve just hot garnished with a piece or crumbles of blue cheese.