White Onion and Cheddar Cheese Soup
While recently visiting the English Cotswolds, we had the pleasure of meeting Rob Rees, aka "The Cotswold Chef." Rob’s a working chef, a highly skilled and experienced one who prides himself on using only local ingredients. He runs a Food Centre in Cirencester with cooking courses and offers food tours of the area. Below is a recipe from his book, The Cotswold Chef, which he co-authored with Chris Dee. Unflaggingly loyal to local farmers and other suppliers, he identifies which specific ones to gather the ingredients from for this recipe. For our purposes, we recommend getting the local equivalents either from farms themselves or farmers markets. To learn more about Rob, visit TheCotswoldChef.
This soup is a great starter on a chilly autumn day.
Portions: Serves 6 as a starter.
1 ½ lb (700g) “Duchy” White Onions, peeled and sliced
1 ounce (25g) “Netherend Farm” butter
6 ounces (175g) “Godsells” Cheddar Cheese, grated
2 medium potatoes - washed, peeled and cubed
1 sprig of fresh thyme or 1 pinch of dried thyme
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 pint (570ml) vegetable stock (from stock cubes)
1 bay leaf
Ground pepper to taste
3 fl ounces (75ml) “Cotteswold Dairy” whipping cream
1. Melt the butter in a thick-bottomed pan and add the onions, thyme, nutmeg and potatoes. Fry gently for approximately 3 minutes.
2. Cover with the stock , add the bay leaf and bring to a boil.
3. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes or until the potato is tender.
4. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
5. Blend until smooth, then place in a clean saucepan.
6. When you are ready to serve, reheat and add the cheese in three equal measures. Ensure that you whisk each handful into the soup thoroughly and that it is melted.
7. Add the pepper and the whipping cream and serve with garlic bread.