- Mike Sula
- Deep-dish soup
As far as local cultural icons go, deep-dish pizza is the culinary equivalent of Al Capone. People all over the world who don’t know Chicago continue to identify it with Chicago, and when they mention it, you’re embarrassed first for yourself and then for them. With a few exceptions, there’s no good reason anyone should inflict deep-dish on the alimentary canal more than once in a lifetime. That was my thinking when I took on deep-dish soup for last week’s Soup & Bread at the Hideout, which was somewhat obscurely themed “Chicago vs. Chicago.” With a hat tip to Friend of Food Chain Kristina Meyer, my aim was to produce a chunky, bechamel-thickened tomato-mozzarella soup with the viscosity of a Wisconsin beer cheese soup (which is something I imagine forward-thinking Cheeseheads suffer as their own culinary indignity). I didn’t quite get there, but the results turned out better than I’d imagined. Near the end of cooking I added fistfuls of shredded scamorza that never fully integrated into the soup, so there were tiny bits of gooey, stretchy cheese held in suspension that had the effect of adhering to the teeth the way it does when you force a slab of deep-dish into your pie hole. If I’d been thinking straight, I would have served this with big, buttery croutons, but instead I used those mini Italian bread sticks called grissini. A scaled-down version of the recipe follows.