COOKBOOK CONFIDENTIAL COOKBOOK CLUB – Robbie Cheadle reviews Swiss Cheese and Onion Soup

Rate this post

Hi there,

What follows is my friend Robbie Cheadle’s ( review of the Moosewood Cookbook. In addition to being a fantastic cook, writer, and photographer, Robbie is passionate about the environment. Please check out her latest book, which combines poetry and environmental concerns. The title is Lion Scream: Syllabic Poetry About Southern African Wildlife. It is available through Amazon.

The Moosewood Cookbook: 40th Anniversary Edition by Mollie Katzen


This is a vegetarian cookbook, and as my family are not vegetarian and are, in fact, big meat eaters, I wouldn’t historically have bought this book. I have, however, been trying to move my family over to a more vegetarian lifestyle because I would like to reduce our collective contribution to global warming and climate change. As a result of this mindset, I was pleased to have an opportunity to consider the recipes in this book and whether they would work as part of my new eating plan for my family.

The recipes are nicely set out in sections headed Soups, Salads, Sauces and dips, baked things and sandwiches, and Entrees. 

I liked the recipes; they offered me new food combinations, especially in soups. Winter is approaching in the Southern Hemisphere, and I love to have soup at lunchtime, so I tried two of the soup recipes, Hungarian mushroom soup and Swiss cheese and onion soup. Both were delicious, and my changes to the original recipes were limited to substitutions of ingredients that I had in my pantry instead of buying a similar item, for example, garlic flakes instead of fresh garlic.

I also tried the spanakopita recipe and that was also very successful. 

Based on my three test recipes to date, I would purchase this recipe book. My family also enjoyed the three meals I made using this book. 

Swiss Cheese & Onion Soup


30 ml butter

2 medium onions 

15 ml garlic flakes (original recipe 1 to 2 medium cloves garlic, minced)

10 ml dry mustard

5 ml salt

5 ml white horseradish sauce

30 ml cake flour

30 ml Fortified Wine (original recipe used dry sherry)

2 cups water

1 ½ cups warm low fat milk

200 grams Emmentaler cheese, grated (original recipe used 1 ½ cups Swiss cheese)


In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter. Once melted, add the onion, mustard, and garlic. Allow to cook for approximately 10 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring constantly and then add the fortified wine, stirring all the time. Slowly add the cold water and blend well. Add the horseradish sauce. Allow to cook for another 5 minutes. Add the warm water and the grated cheese. Bring to the boil stirring constantly. It will thicken. Add the white pepper. Serve with a sprinkle of paprika and homemade white bread.

Award-winning, bestselling author, Robbie Cheadle, has published thirteen children’s books and two poetry books. Her work has also appeared in poetry and short story anthologies.

Robbie also has two novels published under the name of Roberta Eaton Cheadle and has horror, paranormal, and fantasy short stories featured in several anthologies under this name.

The ten Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions which children can make under adult supervision.

Robbie’s blog includes recipes, fondant and cake artwork, poetry, and book reviews. 

Robbie, thank you again for your excellent review and for being such an essential part of our world community.

30 responses to “COOKBOOK CONFIDENTIAL COOKBOOK CLUB – Robbie Cheadle reviews Swiss Cheese and Onion Soup”

  1. acflory – Australia – I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes…
    acflory says:

    Hi Bernadette! I love good food,and like Robbie, I’ve been incorporating more and more no-meat or low-meat recipes in our meals. I’m always on the lookout for new recipes. Cheers!

    • Hi Meeks, this is a lovely vegetarian cookbook. My whole family enjoyed the three dishes I’ve made from this book despite their being vegetarian (they tend to march in protest if the dish is meat free – smile!)

      • acflory – Australia – I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes…
        acflory says:

        lmao! I can just see your boys giving you the evil eye. I was a bit luckier as the Offspring has never been a big meat eater so the transition to less meat was more a case of me finding recipes that I enjoyed. 😀

  2. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen – I'm a writer, cook, gardener, photographer, poet, quilter, and accomplished daydreamer. I'm also a wife, mother, grandmother, sister. cousin, aunt, and friend, no particular order on any given day. I've been a writer all my life, newspaper reporter and columnist, radio news writer, and magazine contributor, and poet and short-story writer as the spirit moves. Now, I turn my attention to my cookbook, the blog, and a cooking column "Memorable Meals," which runs in our county newspaper. Besides my family, I love dogs, cats, good coffee, chocolate, and my never-dwindling pile of books I intend to read. Our family ran a small Vermont Inn for 18 years, with our focus on local, organic ingredients. I cook from scratch, and try not to use anything that has ingredients I cannot pronounce! After many years of daily serving up local delicacies, cooking classes, and catering, we are now only open for special events, and the odd cooking class. We also host musicians and artists, having helped produce a musical festival and other musical events for nearly 20 years. Many incredible artists have found a place at our table. Wonderful experiences, we will treasure always. My family and friends are my practice subjects. With a family that includes nut, peanut, tree fruit, and vegetable allergies, gluten intolerance, dairy intolerance, vegetarians, vegans, heart conscious, and a couple of picky eaters, there has to be a few quick tricks in the book to keep everyone fed and happy! Personally, I do not eat red meat or most full-fat dairy (usually) for health reasons, making the occasional exception at Thanksgiving and Christmas or our anniversary if the duck is locally raised. I do eat fish and seafood, so I try to come up with alternatives and substitutions when available. I serve local organic eggs and cheeses to my family who can tolerate dairy (My husband recently had a heart attack, and I need to watch my own cholesterol so I am careful, but have been known to let a little piece of really good cheese accidentally fall on my plate!). I believe strongly that eating in a way that is good for our planet is also good for our bodies, and I try to educated myself about our food sources! I cook by the seasons and draw on inspiration from the strong and talented women in my family who came before me, as well as the youth in the family who look at the world with fresh eyes. Food links us all, whether sharing a meal, cooking it together, or writing about it for others to enjoy. I love taking an old recipe and giving it a modern spin, especially if I can make it a littler healthier and use foods that are kinder to the Earth and to our bodies. I believe strongly in sustainable, delicious eating of whole foods, and the wonderful flavors we have at our fingertips! And finally, I love conversing with all the talented cooks and chefs out there who dot the globe! It's a wonderful, world full of culinary pen pals, and I cherish them all! XXXOOO Dorothy
    Dorothy’s New Vintage Kitchen says:

    I’ve made this soup Robbie, and it is indeed very well received by the family!

    • Hi Dorothy, that is great to know. A super recipe book.

  3. Darlene – British Columbia, Canada – Writer of children's stories, short stories and travel articles.!/supermegawoman!/pages/Darlene-Foster-Writer/362236842733
    Darlene says:

    I think as people get used to eating interesting and tasty vegetarian recipes, they will be more likely to accept less meat in their diet. The reason so many don’t like veges is that all they were served were peas and carrots! A great recipe, Robbie.

    • Hi Darlene, I think you are right. Vegetarian cooking has become much more interesting.

    • Hi Bernadette, thank you for this lovely post. I really like this cookbook and will be using it again in the future.

  4. I would love to eat more vegetarian and am thinking about starting with one day a week with no meat.

  5. johnrieber – I love great food, interesting books, fascinating travel, outrageous movies, and bacon, especially when it sits on top of a great cheeseburger! I work in entertainment – and I have been lucky enough to interview some really talented Artists – that guides my posts: interesting and provocative movies, music, social media and of course, food, since I believe strongly in the maxim, "everyone eats!"
    johnrieber says:

    Bravo Robbie! This looks delicious – but all of the recipes shared so far have!

    • Hi John, I really like the recipes in this book. I’m struggling a bit with the next one though as the ingredients are not as straight forward.

  6. Awakening Wonders – Everyday life is filled with wondrous things and embraceable moments, but only if we allow ourselves to be fully awakened. I invite you to join me as I share passionate life adventures and ramblings that awaken my spirit. I look forward to awakening your senses to the simple, joyous wonders that are all around us. I feel that we are destined to become soulful adventurers!
    Awakening Wonders says:

    Cheese and onions how glorious – this looks yummy!

  7. The description and image of this soup gives me the impression of eating an entire bowl of fondue. And I can totally support that! Nicely done. 👏

  8. I’m glad Robbie reviewed this recipe – I wondered what it would be like…as a starter it would be a lovely way to begin a winter menu I imagine.

    • Hi Jo, my family loved this rich and creamy soup.

  9. the Painted Apron – Life is all about creativity for me, as long as I'm creating something I am happy! I hope I will inspire your daily life and give you ideas for your own wonderful creations!
    Jenna says:

    You can’t beat onion soup with Swiss cheese! A wonderful cold weather recipe!

  10. beetleypete – Beetley, Norfolk, United Kingdom – Retired from work, and moved from London to Norfolk. Getting used to a slower lifestyle, Country ways, and more time on my hands.
    beetleypete says:

    I’m not a vegetarian, and have no intention of becoming one. But I have nothing against anyone who is.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Thanks, Pete. This soup is lovely for everyone. As you know, I am also not a vegetarian.

  11. D. Wallace Peach – 30 Miles beyond the edge of civilization, Oregon – I'm an adventurer in writing, peering under rocks in my garden for secret magic. I can't stop writing. My stories want to explode from my head. They demand my attention and surge from my fingertips faster than I can put them to paper. I love what I do.
    D. Wallace Peach says:

    That sounds so good. I just jotted down the ingredients so I can make it this week after shopping. Wonderful to see Robbie here with her Moosewood review and recipe. Thanks for the feature, Bernadette.

Any comments or suggestions are appreciated. If you like this recipe, please give it to your friends.Cancel reply