I’m not much of a cook.
Like most people in the city, I enjoy good food and eat out at restaurants more often than I should. But let’s face it: we have some of the best chefs in the world in our backyard, home-cooked food just doesn’t cut it.
With all this restaurant-going, the bills add up. It’s about time I learned how to cook properly, and I’m bringing you all on this ride along with me.
Each week, I’ll borrow a restaurant-style recipe from an acclaimed chef in New York City and conjure up my own version of his or her creation. It won’t be perfect — and I’ll venture to guess sometimes the results will be disastrous — but I’ll be chronicling it here for you all the same.
Here’s how it went this week…
The Smith’s Tomato Soup with Cheddar Melt
Serves 6 (8oz portions)
- 1/2 Spanish onion, chopped
- 1 oz butter
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 2- 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp parsley, roughly torn
- salt and pepper to taste
- 6 slices cheddar melt (*see recipe below)
- *To make Cheddar Melt
- 1 baguette, sliced half-inch thick
- 2 cups sharp white cheddar, shreddedDirections
- To make the cheddar melt, toast baguette and top with shredded white cheddar. Broil until melted and bubbling.
- In a large pot, combine onions and butter and cook until the onions become translucent.
- Add thyme and white wine and simmer over medium-high heat until the wine cooks out.
- Add tomatoes, water and cream and cook until boiling, 20-25 minutes. Add parsley and salt and pepper to taste.
- Ladle into six bowls and top each serving with one slice of cheddar melt.
Since my potato waffle recipe from The Smith last week could be categorized as an epic fail, I wanted to give the eatery another chance to prove I can be successful at recreating one of their dishes. Fortunately (for my sake), this recipe was pretty simple to follow.
Warning: make sure to cover your pot with a lid when the soup is boiling, otherwise you’re likely to end up with tomato all over your kitchen. Also, don’t forget to stir occasionally so that the ingredients don’t get stuck to the bottom and burn. (Guilty on both counts).
The serving size does yield exactly six servings. By itself, the soup tasted a bit plain, so I ended up throwing in some carrots, onions, and button mushrooms.
As for the “cheddar melt,” I made due with what I had in my pantry — and that was white bread, cheddar, and mozzarella slices. I grilled it with two teaspoons of butter and threw in some sliced mushrooms for an added kick.