A lot of you will have invested over Christmas in that

most British of cheeses, the Stilton. This blue bacterial monster will, by

January, be hollowed out and very stinky. Even the most ardent cheesophiles

will be getting wary of its powers and it’s very likely that it will have been

consigned to the garage, covered in a cloth that will never recover. Soon it

will end up in the bin… which is a terrible waste, since the remains of

Colston Bassett’s or Cropwell Bishop’s finest makes a very fine soup indeed..

Serves 10

1 onion

6 cloves garlic

6 sticks celery

100g (31⁄2oz) butter

2kg (41⁄2lb) broccoli, stems

included

2 litres (31⁄2 pints)

chicken stock – use vegetable stock if you’d prefer

1 litre water

Salt and pepper

250g (9oz) Stilton bits

Stilton needs to be accompanied

by a vegetable that complements its strong but delicate flavour. I will use

broccoli, but if you are feeling rabidly seasonal, feel free to use parsnips.

Start by finely slicing the onion, garlic and celery and

sweat them in butter in a large, heavy pan at a medium heat for 15 minutes,

until they soften. Chop up the broccoli, separating the stems from the heads.

Add the sliced stems to the mix, then the stock and water. Simmer for 40

minutes until the stems are soft, then add the chopped heads. Cook the lot for

a further 15 minutes and whizz up the soup into a very fine consistency. Season

to taste and add the Stilton. Stir for five minutes then serve with extra lumps

of Stilton melting on top.