From Essential Vegetarian, Hermes House, 2003.
I saw a soufflé being eaten on the TV the other night so naturally I wanted to make one to eat myself.
I sliced a large leek finely and then sautéed it in a pan with a little oil and butter. When it had softened I poured in 300ml milk, brought it to the boil and then let the mixture simmer, covered, for about 5 minutes. This was then strained and both the leeks and the milk retained.
I now melted 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan and then stirred in 25g plain flour. I let this cook for a little while then took it off the heat and added the strained milk, made up to 300ml again, and stirring to mix well. This went back on the beat and stirring continuously was brought to the boil. The thickened sauce was now taken off the heat and when it had cooled a little the leeks were added together with 4 egg yolks and 75g grated Gruyère cheese and a little seasoning.
A soufflé dish was now buttered in preparation and the oven heated to 180ºC. The 4 egg whites were beaten until stiff. They were carefully folded into the main mixture and then poured into the soufflé dish. It went in the oven to cook for 30 minutes.
The soufflé rose well. It had slightly crisp top and edges and was creamy inside. The leek flavour was subtle, not too intense to overwhelm the cheese and egg, and went down really well. I did find that once we had broken into the soufflé that the centre still needed a little more time so that went back into the oven while we ate some of the firmer bits. Not the best way to eat it but it was still enjoyed.
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔