Russet apple and celery soup with Stilton

Serves 4-6
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Indy Lifestyle Online

A large head of leafy English celery can go a long way. Unfortunately it's usually sold trimmed so it fits in those plastic sleeves. Look out for the large leafy stuff and try the leaves in a salad, or with cheese, the hearts for salads, and the outer stalks for soups and stocks. If you keep sticks to eat with cheese, throw them into the soup pot f too when they start to curl up. This soup is a kind of cheese board in a bowl - minus the grapes. You can vary the taste depending on the type of apple, whether cooking or eating, that you use.

A good knob of butter
1 leek, roughly chopped and washed
1 small head of celery, roughly chopped and washed, leaves reserved
1.5 litres vegetable stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 russet apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
2tbsp double cream
60-80g Stilton, rind removed and cut into small chunks
1tsp celery salt

Gently cook the leek and celery in the butter for 3-4 minutes in a covered, heavy-bottomed pan, stirring every so often. Add the stock, season lightly, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the apple and simmer for a further 10 minutes, or until the apples are soft. Blend in a liquidiser until smooth and sieve out any lumps and stringy bits.

Add the cream and serve with the celery leaves torn into the soup with the chunks of Stilton and scatter with a little celery salt.