There are few meals as satisfying as a hearty bowl of soup on a cold winter's day - for me it's the food equivalent of a hug, and everybody loves hugs. This is another recipe inspired by my week of not eating meat or fish, and is quick and easy to make. For me the star of the show is the stilton, rich in flavour and perfect melted into the soup.
Peel and roughly chop both the onion and garlic before adding to a large casserole dish, along with the bay leaf and a splash of olive oil. Cook for a few minutes until the onion begins to go translucent.
As the onion cooks snap of all of the florets of broccoli and trim the edges of the stalk so you can get use the inner core - easily the best bit of the broccoli plant and a great added texture to this dish when charred.
Add the broccoli florets to the pan and cover with the vegetable stock. Place the lid on a cook for ten minutes.
Whilst the broccoli cooks in the vegetable stock place the core of the stalk on a hot griddle pan and char on all sides.
Transfer the contents of the casserole dish to a food processor and blitz until you have a lovely creamy soup, season accordingly.
Add the soup back into the pan and crumble in most of the stilton, saving a little to garnish the soup with at the end. Stir thoroughly so that the stilton melts.
Serve in bowls and garnish with the remaining stilton and slices of charred broccoli core.