Talk about running late! My intention was to run this blog a few days ago, in honor of…well, in honor of my birthday. But on that day I was quite busy stuffing my face with cupcakes and I ran out of time to finish my entry. So now that my hangover has receded – the sugar kind – I am now ready to bring you my next installment in my little project.
The cover of February’s issue is a lovely shot of the scenery in Merano, Italy…
Isn’t it lovely? Ahhh…some day!
And before we move on to our recipe, let’s take a gander at some of the advertising from this issue. First, let’s take a look at the new Chrysler…
Get ‘em while they’re hot! I hear they get great gas mileage.
And of course, we have this from the golden age of fondue…
Now, on to the Gruyere soup, brought to us by James Beard, one of the American masters of French cooking. Mr. Beard seems to have been featured regularly in Gourmet at this time, and I was pleased to have found his recipe for this soup as I had a block of Gruyere left over after making this for the holidays.
Gruyere cheese originated in Switzerland and it is a hard, pungent cheese, not dissimilar from parmeason reggiano. It is quite flavorful. You will note that the preface to the recipe states that this should be served as a first course to a meal. The soup as presented in the recipe is exactly like you might expect a first course to be: very tasty but not especially hearty. Also, I noted that the Gruyere, being a hard cheese, did not fully melt and incorporate throughout the soup. I decided to give this recipe another try, this time with the necessary adjustments for making a main course soup for a light dinner.
With that in mind, I went shopping for a hard Swiss cheese. What I got was softer than the Gruyere but harder than what you would find in the deli. I grated it with the fine end of the grater, just a I had the Gruyere. And after that, I followed the recipe almost as I had before, with one exception: I reduced the amount of chicken stock from two cups to one. Those two adjustments made all the difference. The dijon mustard and Tobasco in this recipe give it just the right amount of zing.
And the even better news is that I have enough to make two more pots, which will make Mr. Joyce very, very happy.
If you make this, be sure to hold back a few teaspoons of the cheese, so that you can sprinkle it over the soup just prior to serving. It’s just prettier that way. Add some croutons and chopped parsley, and go to it.