Martine Nouet is one of the world's foremost authorities on whiskey and cooking with whiskey. Back in 2001, during one of her early trips to Ireland, she devised a menu based on traditional Irish ingredients and recipes, using Irish whiskey to complement and enhance the flavours. Taken from Whisky Magazine, this is what she had to say about this particular recipe: 'The other single malt I enjoyed testing is Connemara, the only peated Irish malt. Combined with a blue cheese (Cashel Blue is the best Irish one), Connemara releases its earthy smokiness in successive puffs, with a hint of bacon as well as its honeyed sweetness. It’s a mix that creates a soup your guests will remember for all the right reasons.'
750ml / 1¼ pint chicken stock
30g /1oz medium oatmeal
30g / 1oz butter
1 stick of celery, sliced
1 small onion thinly sliced
1 big leek, sliced
1 Granny Smith apple
100g /3½ oz Cashel Blue cheese
3 tbsp Connemara single malt Irish whiskey
1 tbsp chopped walnuts
Salt and pepper to taste
Sprig of chervil for garnish
1. Bring the chicken stock to a boil, add oatmeal. Simmer for five minutes, then mix in a blender.
2. Melt the butter in a saucepan and sweat celery, onion and leek for five minutes. Add the stock, season to taste and cook for 30 minutes.
3. Peel, core and dice the apple. Dice the cheese into cubes. Add to diced apple and marinate in whiskey for 15 minutes. Add to the warm stock with walnuts.
4. Serve in bowls. Add a sprig of chervil as a simple garnish.
Accompany this tasty soup with soda bread and lightly salted Irish butter.