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Recipe for leftovers: broccoli, cauliflower and Stilton soup

Photo shows a bowl of steaming soup made from leftover Stilton, cauliflower and broccoli. Yum!

Photo: Steaming bowl of soup made by recipe for leftover Stilton cheese, broccoli stalks and cauliflower

A few years ago I woke up one night. I could hear a loud crunching coming from the bottom of my giant 100 year old bed.

What on earth could it be?

I hastily groped for the light switch and discovered that Inca, our youngest Min Pin, was gnawing a head of broccoli. She had stolen the head from the kitchen and dragged it upstairs. Inca loves vegetables and often thieves from the pig bin but this was the first time that she had stolen from the vegetable basket. I was too tired to take it from her. In the morning I was surprised to find that she had eaten the stalk and left the prized florets.

Back then we used to throw the stalks away but from that point on they were recycled as dog treats. Since we discovered that they make a great base for soup, Inca hardly gets a look in these days.

I made a cauliflower and broccoli cheese for supper this week. And was left with a large handful of cooked florets that couldn’t fit into the dish. I’d sliced and simmered the stalks of both vegetables in the base of the steamer. So soup seemed a good option. Incidentally, I now steam the florets for cauliflower/broccoli cheese. I don’t know why but steamed florets taste so much better than ones simmered in water and of course the stalks can be cooked at the same time.

Cooked stalks might be nutritious but they certainly don’t look appetising. So secrete them at the back of the fridge if you are going to make soup for someone that you live with. Unless of course you fancy a surprise takeaway – then leave them in a saucepan and wait for the lid to be lifted.

The handful of florets, leaves and stalks made enough soup for four hungry people. It was delicious and basically made out of leftovers and scraps that could easily have just been thrown away. The Stilton was found lurking in the fridge.

Skinflint broccoli, cauliflower and Stilton soup

Make and enjoy a large cauliflower and broccoli cheese, reserving a large handful of cooked florets. Slice and cook the broccoli and cauliflower stalks and cook at the same time. Reserve these in their water.

I large handful of cooked florets
The cooked leaves and stalks from one head of cauliflower and one head of broccoli
2 tsp of vegetable stock powder (I use Marigold)
Half a tsp of garlic granules
Some of the water that the stalks and leaves were cooked in
100g of creamy stilton cheese
Ground white pepper to taste
Sprinkle of parsley to serve

Blitz the stalks with a stick blender and enough vegetable water to make this possible. Add the florets, more vegetable water and blitz again, we prefer the florets to be a bit chunkier in this soup. Ideally this soup should be thick so add the vegetable water gradually until you have a good consistency.
Add the vegetable stock powder, garlic granules and crumbled Stilton cheese and stir until the cheese has melted into the soup. Season well with freshly ground white pepper, dress with a sprinkle of parsley and serve in warm bowls.

Prepare for tumultuous applause when your guests discover exactly what they have just eaten.

Other skinflint soup recipes that may be of interest:
Cauliflower soup with blue cheese and orange zest
Broccoli and watercress soup
Broccoli stalk, last weeks courgettes and post Christmas Stilton soup
Delicate cauliflower leaf and pecorino cheese soup

  Leave a reply


  1. Hilary powell

    Please add the broccoli to the other veg too!
    ( trust me to forget to add that in)

  2. Hilary Powell

    I have a lovely recipe for beautiful broccoli and courgette soup
    2onions roughly chopped and lightly fried not browned (tho I brown mine when I make it) 3 spuds peeled and chopped and also fried, 2 cloves garlic peeled and squashed, 3 large courgettes washed and sliced, 4stalks celery destringed and finely chopped or use celery leaf as much as you like or to taste. And about 2lb broccoli or as much as you want to use.
    Method: add spuds onions celerygarlic courgettes to a very large saucepan add enough water to cover vegetables and bring to boil add if you want to chicken stock or vegetable stock to taste cook until all veg are cooked add if you need to salt and pepper. Then take off heat and whizz with hand blender, when smooth taste add s&p if needed. Enjoy!
    You can add other veg if you have a glut of say beans or anything else – I’d destringed them 1st tho
    I’ve put beans and cabbage in at times when we have a glut or occasionally extra broccoli.

  3. Hilary Powell

    Hi does anyone have a recipe for chicken and cauliflower soup?
    We were at Beaulie (?) in Hampshie new Forrest and stopped for lunch – it was the most beautiful (I know how to spell that one) soup I’ve ever had thick and creamy and gorgeous.
    There was loads of chicken in it.
    I’ve tried to recreate it at home but it doesn’t come near the soup we had there.
    Help please

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