Thursday, January 16, 2014

Austrian Cheese Soup, Oh Glory to Thee?

Normally, I restrict my blogging to sweets, and usually something that I've purchased from bakeries. But for January and February, the Babe is on a soup kick. Having purchased a Cuisinart pressure cooker on mad sale (I call him R2-D2) as well as an immersion blender, I'm all set to sally forth into Soup Land. Cooking shotgun this evening was Brother Victor-Antoine d'Avila-Latourrette, in the form of "Twelve Months of Monastery Soups."

I was interested to see that several of the soups in this book have cheese as an ingredient (well, who isn't in favor of cheese?), and picked Austrian Cheese Soup as my first try.

I was intrigued by the fact that the cheese soup had no cheese in it! No cheddar, no emmental...just cream cheese and yogurt. Looking at the recipe, it seemed to me that potatoes, leeks, and cream cheese would turn out to be...pretty dang bland. So I decided to deglaze the leeks with Vermouth and add a cube of vegetarian bullion. After sticker shock at the liquor store (16$ for vermouth?), I had all the ingredients assembled.

And was off at scratch with the saute.

After staring at R2-D2 bubbling and hissing for ten minutes, I realized that I had it on the wrong setting. But all told, it had about 17 minutes of high-pressure cooking before I mixed in an entire packet of cream cheese and a small container of Greek yogurt. The result was very rich and comforting, with a sour pucker from the yogurt. However, it did not taste like cheese, and it was a tad on the bland side. I added 1/4 cup vermouth to prink it up and was pleased with the result.

I will say that it's the sort of soup you really don't want to eat in large quantities...I'm never against indulgence, but a heaping bowlful took several hours to recover from. And when I heat this up for dinner tomorrow, I am definitely going to add some actual cheese.


  1. It would un-bland it some to roast the leeks. Just clean well, slice, and roast in a ceramic pot, coated with a little oil, spices if you like, for about 1/2 hour. They are amazing for flavor! love, M