Creamy Tomato Stilton Soup
A gorgeous terra cotta color, this deeply flavored, rich soup is perfectly counterpointed by the unexpected tang of Stilton cheese. Its creator is Iain Campbell, a 30-something Internet programmer who is undergoing a bit of a kitchen renaissance and enjoying it. He lives "in the South of England in a region called the New Forest (quite lovely) with my beloved significant other, Cheryl (also quite lovely), and two barmy Abyssinian pussycats." I give you the recipe instructions in his own spirited words. It's a wonderful soup as a hearty first course or luncheon soup. Serve hot to 6-8 people.
"Get a large mutha of a pan because this makes seven or more servings. You will need another large heat-proof container to store the soup as you blend it.
Coat the base of the pan with a generous amount of Olive Oil. Finely chop up the garlic, the onion, the carrot and pepper and throw them in the pan. Slice the mushrooms and put them in too. Add the salt and herbs (I used dried herbs, they're fine) and another splosh of oil. Seal the pan and slowly sweat the contents until cooked and quite fragrant (stir occasionally).
Once the fragrant vegetables are cooked, strain off and add the kidney beans. Boil up some water and make about 2.5 cupsful of vegetable stock with a single cube. Throw it in the pan. Now open and unleash the tomoatoes too; be sure to rinse out all the cans with the same canful of water and add this too. Now add the final 5 cupsful of water.
Bring the whole lot almost to the boil then turn the heat down low and simmer for an hour or so (with the lid on) and stir occassionally.
When you're happy, take a ladel and slowly and carefully scoop the entire batch into a blender and just throw the switch. You will need to transfer the blended soup into another container temporarily (but you knew that).
Once the entire batch has been blended, move it back to the cooking pan. Remove the rind from the cheese, chop up the cheese into cubes and add these to the soup. Now cook the on a low heat for a little while longer, say 20 minutes, stirring it until you're sure that the cheese has melted. Finally, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the fresh cream.
This batch will make seven or more servings and costs around 5 UK Pounds to make. The soup is delicious straight out of the pan, but tastes even more wonderful the next day. It will keep in UK climes for 2 days after cooking."