This celery, apple and blue cheese soup is a rich, creamy and easy way to warm up on these cold days.
For a small island, the UK is incredibly diverse of food. As the landscape changes and accents differ, just a few miles can make a lot of difference in typical local dishes. From the Cornish Pasty and the Bath Bun to the Bakewell Tart and Pease Pudding, it’s quite amazing to see that a short trip down a motorway can lead to the discovery of new foods.
The homogeneity of supermarkets belies hidden treasures cooked in homes, served in pubs and available at farm shops. Local delicacies are abundant in delis and farm shops and it’s nice to see local products celebrated now in supermarkets and food co-operatives, such as the amazing Food Assembly in my town of Frome, Somerset. Shop local and eat local initiatives are thriving now, and this comes together in these food assemblies where the community comes together to buy food directly from local farmers and producers.
I made this soup with Fenland Celery and Dorset Blue Vinny – both products that are certified with Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status, meaning similar foods from outside their area can’t use the name. This is a great way to instil trust from consumers, promote the diversity of products in different regions and support rural communities. We’re familiar with similarly protected foods around Europe, from Champagne to Gorgonzola, which can only be referred to by the protected name if they originate from a specific region and it’s great to see the list growing in the UK – now including Cornish Pasties, Jersey royal potatoes and Anglesey sea salt.
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 head celery, chopped
- 1 leek, chopped
- 1 apple, peeled and chopped
- 500ml (2 cups) vegetable stock
- 100ml (⅓ cup) milk
- 75g (½ cup) stilton or blue cheese
- salt and pepper
- Cook the onion and garlic in the oil in a pan over a medium/low heat for about five minutes, or until softened but not browned.
- Add the celery, apple and stock and simmer until the vegetables are soft.
- Add the milk and blue cheese and puree with a handheld stick blender until smooth.
What are your favourite regional foods? Tell me in the comments!