Broccoli Soup, Toasted Almonds and Hawkstone Cheese Biscuits
We are living the dream, and as chefs we are pampered and spoiled rotten. We live in a vibrant community which takes food seriously and we happen to live in the centre of a county that grows and rears fantastic produce supplying the catering and supermarket trade. Foskett, our local Bromeswell farm, has land as far as the eye can see, and it produces outstanding quality organic produce such as broccoli, potatoes, onions, green beans, corn, salad leaves and I’m sure much more that I don’t even know about – oh, nearly forgotten about the wonderful Brussels sprouts!
The friendly lanky farm manager Thomas delivers crates of Bromeswell glory to our gate every week. While the rest of the country is struggling to get Broccoli we have a regular and steady supply. I do feel spoiled!
We do on the odd occasion go to people’s homes to pick mulberries, wild plums and watercress; this is not random, this is per invite just in case you got a bit worried! This shows our pure dedication to enjoy the season to the maximum, along with anyone who is prepared to come along for the fantastic seasonal produce ride.
This soup is tasty and the colour is pretty vibrant too. The biscuits are tasty too, using Hawkstone, a local Suffolk hard cheese – if you cannot find this cheese substitute for either Parmesan or a hard mature cheddar.
For the Broccoli Soup
- 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
- 100g banana shallots, finely sliced
- 100g leek, finely sliced
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 100g potato, peeled and finely sliced
- 200ml dry white wine
- 400g broccoli, roughly chopped
- Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
- 1L white chicken stock
- 100ml double cream
- 50g toasted flaked almonds
For the Hawkstone Cheese Biscuits
- 125g unsalted butter
- 125g plain flour
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Coleman's English Mustard Powder
- 125g grated Hawkstone cheese (Parmesan or a Strong Cheddar)
- Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
First make the biscuit mix. Rub the butter into the flour, cayenne pepper and mustard powder using your fingertips until it represents coarse breadcrumbs. Add the grated cheese and season to taste, mix until the dough comes together into a firm dough.
Roll the dough into a 3 cm wide sausage and wrap it in clingfilm, refrigerate for 3 hours.
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Remove the clingfilm from the dough and cut the dough into 2mm thick slices, place them on the lined baking tray with 5 cm gap between each. Bake the biscuits in the preheated oven for 8 minutes until cooked and golden brown, cool the biscuits on a cooling rack and keep in an air tight container until needed. (Keep for up to one week)
Prepare the soup. In a large saucepan over medium heat add the rapeseed oil and sauté the shallots, leek, garlic and potato with seasoning for 8 minutes until it starts to take on a bit of colour. De-glaze the pan with the wine and cook until the wine has completely evaporated, add the stock, cover the pan with a lid and over medium heat bring the soup to a gentle simmer for 12 minutes until the potato is softened and the soup slightly thickened.
Add the broccoli and cream and bring the soup back to the simmer for 6 minutes, blend until smooth and adjust the seasoning if needed.
Serve the hot soup with a few cooked broccoli florets and toasted flaked almonds and the Hawkstone cheese biscuits.