Broccoli and Stilton Soup plus tips on presentation.

Broccoli and Stilton Soup plus tips on presentation.

Table Presentation

For a change of tact today, I have decided to concentrate on giving a few tips on how I go about presenting my dishes. My good friends at Ellenborough Park sent through this graphic of how they lay their tables. Mine looks like this:

Table Setting

They also sent me a few recipes, the previous ones were the Great British Menu Starter and Great British Menu Fish Course. The starter was a simple collection of well balanced ingredients. I had a stroke of genius of how to stand the egg up without falling over and all of a sudden the dish looked five star.

The new recipes include a broccoli soup. I have made the soup, recipe below, and then used this two ways to illustrate the difference some thought into presentation makes. I make lots of meals that taste amazing but end up looking like a dogs dinner. I then spend my time down route drawing out diagrams of how to present them better. An example, I’m ashamed to share with you this duck dish.

Duck with sprouts and rosti

This is going to be blogged as a separate post as I need to share the eureka moment I’ve had while making the sprouts and potato rosti for it. In my defence, just as I was about to plate up I burnt my hand on the rosti pan. Not too bad, but enough to put it out of action for the evening. Again, the next time I cook it, I’ll have a better presentation of it.

So my first take on broccoli soup is fairly standard. Add some cream if you want….



With a little imagination and simple thought process I came up with the much improved Broccoli and Stilton soup.

Broccoli and Stilton Soup

The soup hasn’t changed, just its presentation. It is a little grandiose to pour the soup at the table, but it adds a sense of theatre that we all love. It gives the impression that someone has made a lot of effort for you. To aid the basic soup. I set out five cubes of stilton on the dish. In the middle I piped a mix of ricotta and stilton. Topped with bacon rashers and a stilton crouton. As the hot soup is poured into the dish, the cheeses melt enhancing the soup a little more. You are then left with the crunchy bacon and crouton. I served a great big wedge of soda bread on the side and we were both stuffed after one bowl!


    Broccoli Soup

  • Two heads, stem chopped and florets separated. Broccoli
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 200g Ricotta
  • 200g Blue Cheese
  • Sliced Baguette
  • 8 Slices. Streaky Bacon


  1. Bring a large pan of well salted water to the boil. Add the stem and cook for 4 minutes. Now add the florets and cook for a further 4 minutes. Drain, keeping 200ml of the cooking water. Puree all the broccoli adding cooking water to help loosen the puree. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne.
  2. Cube the blue cheese as best you can, reserving 20 small cubes. Mix the remainder into the ricotta and season well with black pepper.
  3. Place the bacon between two baking trays and cook for 15mins at 180°c.
  4. Toast the baguette slices, rub with a garlic clove and add a little cheese. Cook along side the bacon for 15 mins.
As mentioned above. Place 5 cubes of stilton around a bowl, pipe the ricotta into the middle. Top with two bacon rashers and the cheese croutons.


  1. Wonderful! Loved the way the exact same soup went from wearing a nice pair of jeans to a super stylish black dress, pearls and all

    great post!

  2. I love an elegant table and I think this soup fits perfectly. I love those flavours together.

  3. You know it is true that we first eat with our eyes and your second presentation was just gorgeous.

  4. What a difference presentation makes – Dave – thanks so much for pointing this out!

  5. The first plating is how I would have this at home, the second how it would be served at a great restaurant. Nice job David. Sorry about your hand…ouch!

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