ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Creamy Tomato Soup with Crispy Cheese Crackers,” from Salad People by Moosewood Restaurant.
TIMING: 2o minutes or so
DIFFICULTY: My ten-year-old made it
HEALTH: Great lunch, although the protein is completely reliant on cheese, so not an every day thing. Also, not incredibly filling. With a piece of fruit alongside, you’ll still want to hit a protein-dense snack a few hours later. Is heavy on a veggie, although canned, so again–not an every day thing.
EXPERIENCE: We pulled this from the list because my daughter wanted to make us lunch. We perused a kid-friendly cookbook and, with only three things on the ingredient list (no joke!), we had everything on hand. Half an hour later, we were dipping cheese crisps into steaming soup and watching my son defeat Skylanders.
We used cheddar cheese because we did not have a block of Parmesan. Parmesan might be best, but only if you do not use the stuff in the green can. It is too dry for this to work: it will just burn up into dust. Otherwise, you can try different cheeses, like Swiss, Gruyerre, or various cheddars, or even mixtures. I also always use whole milk, but the choice is yours.
We found that the soup was on the thick side and that the crisps had a sort of singed taste, but I honestly think both things are part of the charm of the soup. Everyone chowed it down.
- Lightly oil a (non-Teflon) nonstick skillet and heat it over medium heat.
- Grate 1 cup cheese and drop tablespoons of the cheese onto the pan and gently press flat.
- When the cheese discs have started to sort of dry up around the edges, work a thin spatula under the edges of the discs and flip over. Flatten and cook until just beginning to brown.
- Place the discs in a single layer on a plate, then top with a paper towel, and continue to layer. Continue until you’ve used all the cheese.
- Meanwhile, dump 28 ounces crushed tomatoes (with basil works) into a blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour tomato into a medium sauce pan with 1 cup milk. Stir and heat over low-medium heat until soup is warm. Taste for salt.
Serve hot soup in a bowl topped with the crisps, or–as my kids insist–a separate plate of crisps for dipping.