Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads” – Thoreau

There’s nothing better for the spirit than a strong dose of fresh air and sunshine, a leafy hillside with moss-covered trails to walk upon, and a friend with whom to share the path.   The pleasures of Vermont are simple, serene, homey, and historic – one of the few places I’ve visited that caused me to think, “I could live here.”

Recently, my husband and I stayed at Twin Farms, in Barnard, VT, just a stone’s throw and a covered bridge away from Woodstock, that quintessential New England town with Greek Revival architecture and a quaint village green.  Everything about Twin Farms is exceptional: the 300-acre grounds, the rooms and cottages, the food, the kind staff, and the clear, cold pond stocked with trout.   I even got my husband to paddle a canoe for the first time in his 57 years!

We stopped at Quechee Gorge to take in the view and I took the opportunity to load up on Vermont cheeses.  I bought a couple of bricks of Cabot’s three-year-old artisanal cheddar and used one to make a cheese soufflé.  Cheese soufflés are one of the few dishes that have remained in our menu rotation for as long as we’ve been married.  I bought my first soufflé dish when I first moved to Washington and still use the same recipe that came with the dish.  In the summer, I serve the soufflé with a green salad; in winter, I add carrot soup as an appetizer.


It was a reminder for me of how important it is to use the best possible ingredients when cooking: the soufflé made with the artisanal cheddar was rich, with a substantial flavor to it, but still light as air.   Most grocery stores carry a variety of aged cheeses, so you don’t need to drive to Vermont to make this recipe work.  But if you can, it’s well worth the trip – and not just for the cheese!

The souffle can be made up to 3 hours in advance, and stored in the refrigerator.  Remove from refrigerator 20 minutes before baking.

Serves: 6

Prep time: one hour


  • Preheat oven to 475 degrees
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup sifted flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • pinch of paprika
  • 2 cups milk
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 eggs
  • optional: aluminum foil for soufflé collar



  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat.  Add in flour, salt, and paprika and mix well.
  2. Slowly stir in milk and keep stirring until sauce thickens.  Add cheese and stir until melted.  Remove from heat
  3. Beat 8 egg yolks until well mixed and gradually pour into cheese mixture, stirring constantly.
  4. Beat 8 egg whites until stiff and fold gently into cheese mixture.  Turn mixture into a 10-inch soufflé dish.  To create a crown around the top of the soufflé, run a knife around the edge of the soufflé, about one inch from the rim of the soufflé dish, making a small indentation all around.IMG_1164IMG_1165
  5. Bake 10 minutes at 475 degrees, then reduce heat to 400 degrees and bake for 25 minutes.
  6. Optional: I fold a collar of foil and place it around the outside of the soufflé.  It seems to keep the soufflé from listing to one side or the other.
  7. Serve immediately.

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