Kevin D. Weeks for NPR
There's little hint in the finished souffle that a savory tomato sauce awaits at the bottom.
There's little hint in the finished souffle that a savory tomato sauce awaits at the bottom. Kevin D. Weeks for NPR
Kevin D. Weeks for NPR
Each serving of Provencal souffle is infused with tomato and herbs, prosciutto and cheese.
Each serving of Provencal souffle is infused with tomato and herbs, prosciutto and cheese. Kevin D. Weeks for NPR
I've loved souffles for as long as I can remember. My mother made them fairly often when I was a child, and I recall a feeling of wonder at the way they puffed and browned, magically becoming a toasted yellow mushroom. I also experienced with wonder their ethereal texture and the rich goodness of egg and cheese, flavors somehow transformed to something better. This souffle features a tomato sauce on the bottom that suffuses the souffle as it cooks and provides a delicious sauce. It's been my mother's favorite since I first made it.
Makes 4 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup carrots, finely diced
1/4 cup celery, finely diced
1/4 cup onion, diced
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup white wine or vermouth
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
Pinch crushed red pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter (additional butter to grease dish)
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
2 ounces prosciutto, about 1/8-inch thick
3 tablespoons unbleached flour
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup shredded comte, gruyere or manchego
4 large egg whites, at room temperature*
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, onion, salt and herbs and saute until softened. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add wine and increase heat to medium high. Reduce wine by half and add tomatoes, including juice. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until most liquid has evaporated. Taste, adjust seasoning and allow to cool.
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 2-quart souffle dish with butter and dust with Parmesan.
Mince prosciutto until very fine in a food processor.
Melt the butter over medium low heat, add flour and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Mix in mustard. Add milk, and continue stirring until thickened. Add salt and pepper. Add in yolks, one at a time, whisking constantly to prevent the yolks from curdling. Stir in cheese and melt. Add prosciutto and mix thoroughly. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Beat egg whites to medium stiff peaks. Thoroughly fold 1/3 of whites into sauce mixture. Fold mixture back into remaining whites. Pour tomato sauce into bottom of souffle dish. Pour souffle mixture on top, place in oven and bake 10 minutes.
Reduce heat to 375, and continue to bake for a total of 40 to 45 minutes, depending on how well done you like your souffles. Don't open the oven for the first 20 minutes.
*Eggs are easier to separate when cold, but egg whites whip better at room temperature.