Introduction: Dorset Blue Vinney (Blue Cheese) & Celery Soup

Having searched the site I was surprised to find noone posting an instructable for a blue cheese soup. Granted both blue cheese and celery can be an acquired taste, but for those who are sceptical I urge you to try this out. I had a girlfriend who told me she didn't like either of these core ingredients, but when she tried this soup she loved it and it became a firm favourite.
It's a fantastic winter warmer, served topped with crispy bacon and crusty buttered bread roll.
I first encountered this style of soup in Dorset, UK, where the cheese, 'Blue Vinney', had a stirring myth of once being 'illegal'.
It's not a common cheese though, so I often use Stilton, or other crumbly textured blue cheese.

This is a simple soup to make, few ingredients to worry about and hard to get wrong.

Step 1: Ingredients

This is a guide for making enough for about 6 people, so adjust the recipe accordingly. You may want to very some of the ingredients depending on your tase and what you have available. I blend this soup so it's smooth, you may not wish to, so I'd recommend chopping the vegetables finely. Feel fre to vary the ingredients, this is just a guide, you may want more celery, leek or cheese. You may also want to leave out certain ingredients like the flour if you have allergies.

25g butter
1 tbsp vegetable or other flavourless oil
1 tbsp plain flour
1 medium leek, chopped
6-7 sticks celery chopped
250g of Blue Vinney (or other crumbly blue cheese, such as Stilton)
900ml of Vegetable stock (you can use weak chicken stock)
150-200ml single cream

6-8 rashers of smokey bacon
1 medium potato peeled and diced
1 large onion instead of the leek

My leek looked a little ropey, so I used part of that and an onion too.

Step 2: The Base

  1. Heat the oil and butter together in a good sized cooking pot.
  2. Add the leek, or onion and sweat relatively gently until soft, you don't want it to brown.
  3. Add the celery and potato if using and cook until for a few minutes. (yeah, I forgot the potato, but added it at the next step)
  4. Tip in the flour, stirring well to coat eveything and cook for a minute of so. This is just there to help thicken the soup, but you do want to cook the flour out or it leaves a chalky taste.
  5. Now add the stock and bring to the boil, make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any flour that may have stuck.
  6. Cover and simmer for around 30 minutes until the vegetables are soft.

Step 3: Finishing Up

If you're serving with crispy bacon get a grill preheated to high and cook the bacon until crisp, then sit to dry on some absorbent paper. You could fry it if you like, I just prefer grilling bacon.
  1. Now that the stock base is cooked though remove from the heat and stir in the cream. You may want to let the stock cool a little first so it doesn't split, or just stir really quickly.
  2. Now crumble in the cheese and stir until it melts, you can return it to a gentle heat to help it along now that the cream has been well mixed, but don't boil it again or it may split.
  3. I then like to blend using a hand/stick blender.
Caution: Keep your fingers away from the business end of the blender! Also try to keep it under the liquid or you'll need to clean it off the walls and will be wearing spatters of boiling cheesy soup!

Step 4: Serve

I like to present this with long strips of crispy bacon floating on the top with a little drizzle of extra cream and maybe a tiny drizzle of homemade truffle infused oil.

A warm crispy roll with butter is always a welcome accompaniment

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