Happy Unofficial Birthday

Well I never!  I found out today that the Queen of England has TWO birthdays.  Her real birthday is 21st April, 1926.  However, she has an ‘official’ birthday, the Queen’s Official Birthday (sometimes known as “the Queen’s Birthday”) which is celebrated as a public holiday in several Commonwealth countries.

In the United Kingdom, the Queen’s Official Birthday is now celebrated on the first, second, or third Saturday in June.  In Canada, New Zealand and Australia it is celebrated on three completely separate days.  I dunno, it sounds like a racket to get lots of presents if you ask me.

Lillibet, aged seven months

Anyhow, to celebrate Elizabeth II’s real and 84th birthday, I made soup for dinner.

Broccoli and Cheddar Soup
  • 1 lb (450 g) fresh broccoli
  • 6 oz (175 g) good mature Cheddar, grated
  • 6 oz (175 g) potatoes
  • 1 medium onion, peeled
  • 3 ½ cups (27 fl oz) 750 ml chicken stock or water
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • Good pinch salt and pepper
  • ½ teaspoon white sugar

Chop the onion, potatoes and broccoli, and put half the florets to one side.  Heat the chicken stock or water to boiling point.

In honour of the Monarch, I used Kallo stock cubes that I keep in my special OXO commemorative Coronation souvenir stock cube box.

Pour the oil into a large saucepan, fry the onion very gently until translucent and add the potatoes. Give it a stir, add the boiling chicken stock or water and sugar, and cook the potatoes and onions for about 10 minutes.   Add half the broccoli, season and cook until tender – about 5 minutes.

Pour it into a blender or food processor with the remaining raw florets, and whizz for a few seconds.   When the soup is smooth it will still have a lovely texture from the florets.   Now pour the soup back into the saucepan, and stir in the grated Cheddar.  Serve with crusty French bread.

God save the Queen!

It wouldn’t be a proper birthday wthout a special song!


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