Alex Guarnaschelli's Flawless Tomato Soup
Alex Guarnaschelli became a soup expert when she cooked at the famed Restaurant Guy Savoy in Paris in the 1990s. "The chef would roll in unannounced, grab a hunk of bread and a spoon, and taste the soup," she recalls. "If it wasn't on point, you were going to hear it." Guarnaschelli, now chef of New York City's Butter, makes a fantastic winter soup loosely based on a Guy Savoy bouillabaisse, with a mix of tomatoes, fennel and Pernod. Here, she sautés two kinds of tomato (fresh and canned, creating layers of flavor) with lots of fennel, then purees part of the soup so the texture is both chunky and smooth. "It's one of those great recipes that can be left on its own," she says, "but you can make it heartier by stirring in something like meatballs."
Recipe: Two-Tomato Soup with Fennel