Granite Belt goodies

A big box of the Granite Belt's latest goodies has arrived on my doorstep. There's nothing like these farm fresh vegetables and fruit - the flavours are so intense and pure - a delight to cook and eat.

The flavour filled grapes disappeared very quickly but I'm planning something special for the biggest apple I have ever seen. Now is the time to head to the Granite Belt and pluck these new season fruits straight from the vine/trees.

I'll be working my way through these luscious fruits and vegetables for a while and I'm particularly looking forward to trying the Maple Apple jam from Greedy Me Gourmet and the Summit Estate Merlot.

Andrew Simpson, chef and food and beverage training manager at the Queensland College of Wine Tourism included this great recipe.

Cauliflower and Stanthorpe blue cheese soup

1 cauliflower
4 cloves of garlic
2 large onions
1 litre of chicken stock
300ml pure cream
300g strong blue cheese
freshly ground pepper
50 grams butter
1 small baguette
olive oil
chopped parsley for decoration

Cut the baguette into 5mm thick slices and lay flat on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then place a thin slice of blue cheese on top. Bake in hot over for five minutes until golden. Allow to cool - this will become the crouton garish for the soup.

Slice onions and garlic, sweat down in a large pot with butter until transparent and sweet (no colour). Add roughly chopped cauliflower, including the stalk as this the sweetest part of the flower, pour in chicken stock and simmer gently for 20 min. Remove from heat and puree with bar mixed adding in the left over blue cheese a little piece at a time. Once smooth, return to low heat and add pure cream, salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

Serve hot with crouton afloat sprinkled with chopped parsley and cracked pepper.