Monday, 24 October 2011

Moosewood Mondays: Swiss Cheese and Onion Soup. And - Meet Natalie MacLean!

If some is good, more must be better - right?
I am often of that opinion at the grocery store. This is the reasoning that has me bringing home ten pound bags of onions - the simple fact that they were only fifty cents more than the three pound bags I normally buy.
And by "normally buy" you can assume that the three pound bag is, in fact, the appropriate size bag of onions for our small family. But I can't help myself.

So, what to do with ten pounds of onions? Well, onion soup is a good start. I was going to go with a classic French onion when I found this beauty - Swiss cheese and onion soup. The cheese is made into a creamy mixture and added right in to the oniony soup base. The results are thick and creamy and oh so soothing.

My husband called it "French onion soup without the work of digging for the cheese".

It really is delicious, and goes great with a nice loaf of bread or even garlic bread if you are into doubling up further on the alliums. I am. ☺

Swiss Cheese and Onion Soup
adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook, by Mollie Katzen

4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups finely sliced onion
5 Tbsp butter, divided
3 Tbsp flour
2 cups water, stock, or water with bouillon
1½ cups whole milk, warmed
1½ cups grated Swiss cheese
1 tsp dry mustard powder
1 Tbsp dry sherry
1 tsp prepared horseradish
1½ tsp salt (more or less, to taste - if using bouillon, reduce salt)
black pepper
1 tsp tamari
shake or two Tabasco
shake of Worcestershire sauce

In large enamel-coated cast iron pot, heat 2 Tbsp butter, onion, and garlic on medium heat. Stir frequently and let slowly soften together. Add in the mustard powder and some salt. Stir.
Pour in water, stock or water with bouillon. Let come to a gentle simmer, turn to low and start in on the cheese sauce.

In second pot (small/med and heavy bottomed), let 3 Tbsp butter melt on med/low. Add in the flour and whisk for a minute, until starting to colour. Add in milk slowly, whisking all the time. When thickened nicely (after 5-8 mins), add in horseradish, sherry, and cheese. Let melt together and remove from heat.

Scrape cheese mixture into soup and season to taste with the tamari, pepper, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce. Let cook another 5 or so minutes to meld. Serve hot.

If you have a Moosewood dish you would like to show off this month, link it up here:

Meet Bestselling Author Natalie MacLean in Toronto or Niagara for the Launch of her New Wine Book!
Join Natalie MacLean for an unforgettable evening of wine, laughter and story-telling to celebrate the launch of her second wine book, Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World's Best Bargain Wines.

Natalie will be hosting a multi-course gourmet dinner and matching wines at Grano Restaurant in Toronto and hosting a wine tasting in Niagara:

Niagara-Grimsby: November 22

Author Series & Wine Tasting Tickets:

Toronto Grano Restaurant: November 23

Multi-Course Wine Dinner Tickets: 416-361-0032 or

Named the World’s Best Drink Writer at the World food Media Awards, the Canadian journalist and sommelier Natalie is just back from a whirlwind trip to uncover the world’s best bargain wines and share them with you.

She’ll also share stories about fascinating winemakers and gorgeous, remote vineyards with her quirky humour and insider smarts that made her first book, Red, White and Drunk All Over, the only wine book ever to get on the national bestseller list. The Globe & Mail also named it one of the best books of the year.

Space is limited for these exclusive events. Reserve your tickets online now. Your ticket price includes a personally signed copy of Natalie’s new book, Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World's Best Bargain Wine plus a multi-course meal with wine in Toronto or wine tasting in Niagara. Following the session, you can purchase additional copies of the book as holiday gifts and Natalie will sign them. Natalie's tour will include 14 cities across Canada:

For more information about the book and an amusing video trailer about it, please visit