Jerusalem Artichoke, Apple and Stilton Soup

This is a deliciously warming soup with well balanced flavours. Sweet apple softens the sharpness of the Stilton.

Portions: 4 -6 Portions

Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooking: 35-45 minutes

Ingredients

Soup

  • 25g onion, sliced
  • 25g white of leek, sliced
  • 50g celery, chopped
  • 300g Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and chopped roughly
  • 70g butter
  • 70g flour
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 500ml thin bèchamel sauce*
  • bouquet garni
  • 200g apple, peeled, cored and diced
  • 150g Stilton
  • 150ml double cream
  • Maldon salt and freshly ground pepper

Garnish

  • 1 apple
  • 12 Chervil leaves (optional)
  • 60ml double cream

Method

  1. Soup: Place the butter in a saucepan over a moderate heat and cook the vegetables so that the onion is soft and they are without colour.
  2. Gradually mix in the flour with a wooden spoon and cook slowly for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Bring the stock to a boil and gradually stir it in to the saucepan with the vegetables. Bring to the boil and add the bouquet garni and a little seasoning. Leave to simmer for 30 minutes, skimming when necessary
  4. Remove the bouquet garni and add the apple and stir in the béchamel sauce. Bring it to the boil and reduce to a simmer and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the soup from the heat and liquidise it in batches with the cream and Stilton, in a food processor or blender (be careful not to overfill it or it will spill out).
  6. Return the soup to a clean pan and reheat. Adjust the seasoning and consistency by adding a little stock and cream if necessary. You should have a smooth creamy consistency, that pourable and will coat the back of a spoon.
  7. Garnish: Apple balls (optional): With a solorino scoop (small melon baller) remove 12 balls of apple, placing them in a bowl of water with lemon juice. Blanch the balls in boiling water so that they are just soft and return them to the water a and lemon juice and set aside.
  8. To Serve: Heat the soup, and pour into warm soup bowls. Garnish with apple balls, a little cream and chervil leaves (optional).
  • To make thin béchamel sauce: Bring 500ml of milk to the simmer. Melt 30g butter in a saucepan and mix in 30g flour. Remove it from the heat and cool slightly. Gradually mix in the boiling milk into the flour and butter mixture, stirring constantly so as to avoid lumps. Return it to a moderately low heat and stir regularly until thickened. (to make medium sauce use 50g butter and flour, to make thick 60g).
  • Bouquet garni: Parsley thyme and bay leaves tied together with string or dried in muslin bags.