Tag Archives: soups

Dorset Blue Vinny, Veggie and Bean Soup

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Dorset Blue Vinny was the first cheese I ever wrote about on this blog. At that point, I was planning to find out about cheeses from all over the world but, as I researched the Vinny, I realised that, cheese-wise, there was enough history and variety on the British Isles to keep me going for some time. Nearly four years later and there’s still about 500 cheeses I have yet to track down!

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Red Onion Soup with Dewlay’s Lancashire Toasts

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It’s hard to know what to eat for lunch when you work from home. Unless you live somewhere a lot cooler than me, gone are the days of sushi on a Monday, falafel on a Wednesday and mashed-avocado-something on a Friday. For a long time I relied on fish-finger sandwiches or cheese toasties, both of which are delicious in their own right but, long-term, don’t tend to deliver much in the way of either filling you up for the afternoon, or providing much nutritional benefit. So recently I switched to salads in the summer and soup in the winter. You really can’t beat toasted cheese though, so here it is, ingeniously incorporated into some soup.

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Hibernation and a Hearty Kale and Stilton Soup

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About this time of year, hedgehogs begin to stir, shivering their bristles and stretching out a little foot or two, in readiness to wake up after their winter slumber. All of which serves as a handy metaphor for this blog which, having snoozed through the dark, short days of December and January, is now ready to spring back into action. (I could at this point have just confessed to being busy, knackered and neglectful but, well, everyone loves a hedgehog, don’t they?)

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Not Very French Onion Soup with Lincolnshire Poacher Toasts

french onion soup with lincolnshire poacher cheese

If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. If life gives you onions, make…er…bhajis? But bhajis aren’t renowned for their cheesiness (although I’m sure you could probably whack a bit of paneer in there with great results) and so, when I mucked up on a grocery order and found myself with the Mount Kilimanjaro of onions, French Onion Soup it was. Typically French Onion Soup is topped with melted gruyère and so I mused upon British cheese and thought of Lincolnshire Poacher. Poacher is made to a recipe loosely based on West Country cheddar but is also influenced by Swiss mountain cheeses due to the starter culture that’s used. The result is a smooth Gruyère-like texture but with the nutty, grassy taste of a mature Cheddar. Perfect melty cheese.
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Quicke’s Cheddar Cheese and Beer Soup

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I’m determined not to put the heating on until October but this autumn weather is certainly trying my resolve (hailstones anyone?!) So, it’s ridiculous Nordic cardigans, hot water bottles and comfort food all the way here. Rocket, lettuce and radishes have all fallen by the wayside in favour of starchy root vegetables and soups have kicked out salads. I first came across Cheese and Beer Soup in Kirstin Jackson’s exploration of American cheese, It’s Not You, It’s Brie. It sounded very British – beer, cheese, together in a bowl – so I was surprised to find that it’s a classic American dish that hails from Wisconsin, the dairy capital of the States. There didn’t seem to be any trace of it here at all and it seemed like we were missing a trick.
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