Archive | March, 2012

Pear soup and blue cheese on walnut bread

26 Mar

Blue cheese
Photo by Paul Mcmahon

Preparation time: 1 hour for soup 3 hours for bread
Total time: 4 hours
Serves: 4
Cost per person $2.96
Prices are based on


  • 1kg William Bartlet Pears peeled and cored (Keep peels and cores for white stock and set aside one pear for garnish) Make sure the pears are in water with a dash of lemon juice to prevent them from oxidizing
  • 5 Peppercorns
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • a sprig of thyme
  • 2 tsp maldon sea salt
  • 4 tsp sour cream
  • 2 Crushed garlic cloves
  • 500ml water
  • Walnut bread

  • 250g Organic Wholemeal bread flour
  • 2tsp dried yeast
  • 2 tsp of caster sugar
  • 165ml of lukewarm water
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 tbs Olive oil
  • 50g of toasted walnuts
  • 100g Blue cheese (I used Goat Gorgonzola from Ocello, a beautifully rich Blue cheese)
  • Walnut bread, directions:

    Combine the yeast, sugar and water in a small bowl. Cover and set aside in a warm, draughtfree place for 10 minutes or until frothy.
    Sift flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the center. Add yeast mixture, oil and walnuts and mix to a soft dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place dough in a large oiled bowl, cover and set aside in a warm place for 1 hour or until dough doubles in size.

    Kneed the dough down with your fist. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until smooth. Shape into an 8 x 20cm log. Place log on a greased oven tray, cover with plastic wrap and stand in a warm place for 40 minutes or until almost doubled in size. Preheat oven to 200°C. Dust top of dough with flour. Use a sharp knife to cut 3 shallow diagonal slits on top of dough. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden-brown and base sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack.

    Pear soup, directions:

    First thing you need to do is make a white stock. This is done by place the roughly chopped shallots, peppercorns, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, pear cores, pear skins and the 500ml of water in a heavy based pot. Bring this mixture to the boil then simmer for at least 30mins to an hour to introduce the flavor of the vegetables to the water. Then pass mixture through a sieve to cover the chopped pears in a separate saucepan. Bring the pears and the stock to the boil until the pears soften, the blend.

    Serve the soup like I have with a slice of pan fried pear or a dollop of sour cream. Accompany the soup with a toasted slice of walnut bread with some of blue cheese crushed on the top. More pear inspired dishes to follow…