Let's talk a little bit about blue cheese. Do you like it? Or do you hate it? Or are you somewhere in the middle, like me? I would never sit down with a slab of blue cheese and a box of Triscuits like I'm known to do with other cheeses, but in small quantities, I think blue cheese can really enhance the flavor of other ingredients and meld nicely into the background with its slightly salty and pungent presence.
OK, here's some information I recently learned that almost had me changing my mind completely about blue cheese though, and if you're already slightly squeamish or riding the fence regarding your opinion of this much hated/much loved cheese, then skip the next paragraph and head on down to the recipe itself.
It turns out that one of the bacteria that is encouraged to grow on this particular cheese is the same bacteria that is responsible for causing foot odor. (Makes you really want to dig in and try this recipe now, doesn't it?)
For the record, hubby is still riding the fence regarding his feelings about blue cheese. I listened to him comment after every bite of this soup; "I don't think I like this." Then after the next bite, "I really like this! Especially with a bite of crouton with it." Then, "I don't know if I like this or not." On and on this went through the entire bowl of soup. The final comment: "I do like this! I'd actually order this if I saw it on a menu."
Blue Cheese Tomato Soup
2 tsp olive oil 1/2 onion, diced 1 carrot, peeled and diced salt and pepper 1 clove of garlic, minced 8 cups tomato juice (I had a thin batch of pureed tomatoes in the fridge so that's what I used) 2 cups chicken broth 2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped 1 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped 1 tsp Sriracha chili sauce (or your favorite chili sauce, and use more or less according to your tastes) 2 oz reduced fat cream cheese 2 oz blue cheese (use less for a less pronounced flavor... or substitute with a milder goat or feta cheese)
In soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and carrot and season with salt and pepper. Saute for 5-6 minutes then add the garlic and saute for another minute or two. Add the tomato juice, chicken broth, oregano, basil, and hot sauce. Increase heat a bit and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender, 20-25 minutes. Stir in cream cheese and blue cheese. Remove from heat and stir to melt the cheeses. Don't worry if they don't completely melt and incorporate into the soup. They will be smooth and melt in the blender. Working in batches, puree soup in blender and return to pot. Season again with salt and pepper if needed.
Serve with crispy garlic bread or croutons.
To make homemade croutons I just cube old bread, drizzle on some olive oil, then season with whatever I'm in the mood for that day. Today it was salt, pepper, garlic powder and some Italian seasoning. Place on baking sheet and bake in a 300 degree oven for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
This is my documentation of my life after turning 50. Lots of recipes, some healthy, some not so much... tossed up with a hefty dose of sarcasm and motherly love.
My email address: maggielauerrdh(at)yahoo.com