Keep the chill of those long winter nights at bay with this warming recipe for Swedish soup and cheesy dipping sticks. The light, nutty flavour of cannellini beans along with aromatic rosemary is the perfect partner for those moreish cheese toasts, made with sourdough bread.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, roughly diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (400g) tin cannellini beans, drained
1 sprig rosemary, leaves only
500ml vegetable stock
100ml white wine
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 squeeze lemon juice
Cheese Dipping Sticks
8 thin slices sourdough bread
4 tablespoons soured cream
150g Västerbottensost, grated (see note below)
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Soup: In a saucepan over a medium heat, warm the oil and add the onion. Turn the heat down low and cook for 5 to 10 minutes until it starts to soften. Stir in the garlic, cannellini beans and rosemary leaves then continue to cook for a couple of minutes.
Pour in the stock and wine then bring to the boil. Season well then cover with a lid and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Allow the soup to cool a little and then use a handheld liquidiser or food processor to blend until smooth. Season to taste, adding a squeeze of lemon juice to balance the flavour. Keep warm.
Cheese Dipping Sticks: Put half the sliced bread on a board and spread evenly with the soured cream. Top with 120g Västerbottensost cheese and put the other half of the bread on top. Slice each piece into thick fingers.
Put the butter into a frying pan and allow to melt over a low to medium heat. Fry the fingers, in batches, until golden on each side. Ladle the soup into four bowls, top with the remainder of the grated cheese, a little black pepper and serve with the toasts.
The complex flavour of Västerbottensost, which is aged for at least 14 months, provides richness to this hearty dish. Simple to prepare, spend less time in the kitchen this winter and more time snuggled up on the sofa with loved ones.
Known as the ‘king of cheeses’ in Sweden, Västerbottensost has been made using the same secret recipe since 1872. It was made by accident one day when Ulrika Eleonora Lindström, a dairy maid, was distracted from her work by a romantic interlude which caused the cheese to develop its unique character. Västerbottensost may be difficult to find and can be replace with a similar cheese..