Cooking Our Way Through Gourmet, 1972: February!

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…

photo (14)

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…

1972 Chrysler Imperial

1972 Chrysler Imperial

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…

fondue

It’s just not a party without scalding hot cheese.

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.

photo (47)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.photo (44)  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.

Keeper!

Keeper!

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About Joyce

40-year-old university advisor, 10-years married with two small children, trying to do it all and have it all and still manage the occasional social interaction through the wonderful world of blogging.
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22 Responses to Cooking Our Way Through Gourmet, 1972: February!

  1. Valerie says:

    Happy belated Birthday!! ** 😀 **
    That soup looks amazing! My husband loves swiss cheese and I’m sure he’d be a big fan of it!!

  2. Lu says:

    And a belated Happy Birthday to you!!
    The soup looks awesome – I’ve never tried cheese soup, per se – although I do throw chunks of any old cheese into other soups on a regular basis 🙂

    • Joyce says:

      Thanks, Lu! The soup was great. My husband filled his first bowl right up and then promptly dropped it on the floor, so he had to clean up a giant mess of soup, croutons, and pottery chards before he could serve up a second bowl. He’s still grieving. I promised I’d make him a second pot soon.

  3. Zanni Arnot says:

    Oh Yum! That last dish sounds divine! Hope you had a gorgeous birthday. x

    • Joyce says:

      Thanks! My birthday was pretty good. They are not so grand anymore because my son’s birthday is a few days before mine, so our focus is on him. I think I may have had more fun on his birthday than I did on my own.

  4. Happy Belated Birthday Joyce! Another year wiser! I have been so soup hungry and have been flooding my family (who all hate soup) with big pots of it! Last week I made a beer, cheese, mushroom potato soup all in one (it was really good). This week I made cheesy broccoli soup! I guess you can tell I love cheese so I know I would love this one! I love the thought of dijon mustard and tabassco in this recipe! I love the advertisements you shared! I love old cars….and yes they were so good on gas! Great post!

    • Joyce says:

      My husband still raves about a beer cheese soup he had somewhere. I have yet to attempt one! Beer and cheese – sounds very Wisconsin-ish!

      • Beer Cheese soup is served at almost every restaurant up here. I like it but it made it much heartier by adding sauteed mushrooms and potatoes to it!

      • Joyce says:

        Could you possibly direct me to a good recipe for it?

      • Well, I looked up all the local restaurants in our area and none of them post their recipe so I just googled it and here is what I came up with…..http://allrecipes.com/recipe/wisconsin-natives-beer-cheese-soup/

        This actually sounds really good to me but I must admit that I’ve never seen one with vegetables in it until I just made up my own recipe the other day which was not technical at all. I just sauteed my mushrooms in the pot with butter and garlic and then added a can of cream of mushroom soup, can of milk and a can of beer. After that I added my potatoes, salt, pepper and cheese. The linked recipe really sounds tasty. I’ve never seen a restaurant add the popped popcorn before but that might be interesting as well!

  5. Karen says:

    Happy b-day The soup looks yummy

  6. Mary Frances says:

    Happy birthday! This sounds like a perfect cold night dish. And the car bit of your post made me laugh, thanks!

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