Broccoli and Oregonzola Soup

January 31, 2011

Varietal: Syrah

Serves 8

This warm and filling vegetarian soup comes from the award-winning Rogue Creamery in southern Oregon. It uses Oregonzola, a Gorgonzola-style cheese, to add a creamy texture (much like heavy cream or half-and-half in more traditional soup recipes) as well as a distinct salty/tart taste. Oregonzola is aged a minimum of 120 days in the creamery’s caves, which results in a sharp, Old World-Italian flavor and a velvet-like texture. When paired with a simple green salad, crusty bread, and a bottle of hearty Syrah, it’s the perfect wintertime–or any time–repast.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3/4 cup chopped white or yellow onion

1 cup peeled, chopped russet potato

1 1/2 pounds trimmed broccoli, coarsely chopped (about 7 1/2 cups)

2 cups vegetable stock plus 2 cups water, or 4 cups water

4 ounces Oregonzola blue cheese or other high-quality blue cheese, crumbled

Freshly grated nutmeg

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Walnut oil, for drizzling

1. Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and potato, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is slightly softened but not browned, 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the 2 cups of stock and 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 15 minutes.

2. Strain the vegetables, reserving the cooking liquid. Put the cooked vegetables in a food processor and moisten with a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid. Pulse until very smooth. With the motor running, gradually add the rest of the cooking liquid. Work in batches as needed.

3. Transfer the soup back to the saucepan. Reheat until almost boiling, then remove from the heat.

4. Stir in the blue cheese. Add nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste.

5. Ladle the soup into 8 warm soup bowls and drizzle with the walnut oil.

Recipe reprinted from Pacific Northwest Wining & Dining: The People, Places, Food, and Drink of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia (Wiley, 2007, $34.95) by Braiden Rex-Johnson.

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