2 large heads of broccoli, about 1kg
800ml hot chicken or vegetable stock
100g Stilton, crumbled
2 firm but ripe pears
handful of toasted flaked almonds, to garnish
Cut the broccoli into florets, but do not waste the stalks. Peel off the tough skins from the stalks and roughly chop up the tender core.
Bring the stock to the boil in a medium saucepan. Add the broccoli and cover the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the broccoli is tender but still bright green. In two batches, blend the broccoli into a smooth soup, adding a third of the crumbled Stilton as you do so. Return the soup to the pan. Taste and adjust the seasoning and reheat just before serving.
Peel the pears and cut them in half lengthways. Remove the cores with an apple corer. Melt the butter in a pan and add the pear halves, cut side down. Spoon over the foaming butter to baste as you cook the pears. Pan-roast them on one side for 1-2 minutes until they are golden brown around the edges, then flip them over to roast the other side. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, then remove to a plate and drain off the excess butter.
Pour the soup into warm bowls and rest a pan-roasted pear half in the centre. Scatter over the remaining crumbled Stilton and the flaked almonds. Serve at once.