Soufflés have a quite undeserved reputation for being difficult to make. This tasty soufflé is, in fact, very quick and easy to prepare and makes a satisfying lunch when served with crusty bread and a side salad.
Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.
A, B12, niacin, calcium, E, niacin, zinc, B2, C, folate, copper, iron, selenium
*Instead of Gruyère, use a blue cheese such as Gorgonzola, Stilton or Danish blue.
*Try a Greek-style feta and watercress soufflé, replacing the Gruyère cheese with 75 g (2½ oz) crumbled feta. Sprinkle the soufflé with a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg before serving.
*For a smoked haddock and spinach soufflé, use 85 g (3 oz) smoked haddock fillet and 85 g (3 oz) fresh spinach leaves. Cook the haddock gently in the milk for 5–6 minutes, then drain, reserving the milk for the sauce. Flake the haddock, discarding any skin and bones. Wash the spinach, then cook for 2–3 minutes, with just the water clinging to the leaves, until wilted. Drain well, squeezing out excess moisture, then chop the spinach. Add the haddock and spinach to the sauce in step 4, in place of the Gruyère and watercress.
*Gruyère cheese has a distinctive flavour and creamy, melting texture. It contributes to the protein and calcium content of this soufflé, as well as providing zinc, a mineral that has an important role to play in wound healing.
*Most soufflés are based on a mixture of butter and flour called a roux. This version uses cornflour instead, which works just as well and keeps the total fat content low.