Gruyère cheese soufflé with sautéed chard and onion compote

Looking for something to impress your friends and family? Look no further than this deliciously indulgent cheese soufflé recipe by Leon Rothera.

Leon is a London-based chef who owns a TV and film catering company called Honest Foods. Over the years, his food philosophy hasn’t changed, even if his culinary skills have. “My food is about letting good ingredients shine, using techniques I’ve picked up over the years,” he says. “Be it tips on how to make the perfect soufflé, or how to add depth to soups.”

Soufflés are notorious for sinking and collapsing, so be sure to serve this cheese soufflé recipe straight out of the oven. Pair with a sautéed chard and onion compote for a dish that’s full of flavour. Chard is an excellent source of vitamins A and K. There’s some evidence that vitamin K may help to keep bones healthy, while vitamin A helps to support our vision, skin and immune system.

It’s the perfect recipe for serving as a celebratory supper – enjoy with a glass of something chilled for a truly delicious dinner!

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Ingredients

For the red onion compote

  • 40g salted butter
  • 2 large sliced red onions (cut as fine as you can)
  • 200ml red wine
  • 80ml red wine vinegar
  • Sprig of thyme
  • 30g brown sugar

For the soufflé

  • Butter and flour to coat ramekins
  • 20g salted butter
  • 20g plain flour
  • 200ml milk
  • 70g grated Gruyère cheese
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 organic egg yolks
  • 2 egg whites whipped to a peak
  • Sea salt and black pepper

To serve

  • Salted butter
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 2 portions Swiss chard
  • Parmesan

Method

  1. First, melt your butter for the compote and add in the sliced onions. Cook over a low heat for a good 20 minutes until they melt down to a small stuck-together pile. At this point, you can add the wine, vinegar and thyme.
  2. Once the liquid has reduced by half, add the sugar and keep cooking until it’s a good consistency. What you don’t use can be kept in a jar in the fridge for a month.
  3. For the soufflé, heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6 and grease and flour two ramekins.
  4. Melt the butter in a saucepan on a low heat and add in the flour to create a roux in your pan. Pour in a quarter of your milk and allow it to warm up before mixing it together with a wooden spoon until it is smooth. Repeat this process until all the milk is combined, then add in the cheese and the mustard.
  5. Allow the mixture to cool before adding the egg yolks. Adding them too early could result in them scrambling.
  6. The mixture should now be at a room temperature. Start by mixing in the first half of the whipped egg whites. This will loosen the mixture so the second half can be folded in more easily, keeping as much of the air in it as possible.
  7. Split the mixture between two ramekins. Use a pallet knife or the back of a knife to scrape over the top, leaving a level surface. Then you need to do something called top-hatting. This is when you use the tip of your thumb and run it around the inside of the top of the ramekin. Discard the little bit that you score away. This will help your soufflé to rise evenly. The soufflé will take around 25 minutes at 200°C or until well golden.
  8. When the soufflé is almost done, melt some butter and garlic in a frying pan and gently sauté the chard.
  9. Once the soufflé is out of the oven, be quick! It’ll sink fast and not look as impressive. Serve with the sautéed chard, a few big dollops of the warmed onion compote and a grating of Parmesan.