Everything you love about a cheesesteak, but a little fancier and less messy.
There is nothing more satisfying than a cheesesteak. They're gloriously messy and greasy masterpieces that require a stack of napkins, and worth it every time. But sometimes I don't want to get messy, or friends don't want to get messy at a dinner party...so I came up with a slightly fancier version: cheesesteak soup! It has all the best parts of cheesesteak—even making croutons with a classic roll—but instead of eating with your hands, you can dip in with a spoon, pinkies up optional. It's hearty, cheesy, and just as comforting. There's also some fish sauce snuck in there for extra umami and a little smokiness, and a dash of cayenne to wake things up and cut through the richness.
1 (6-inch) Italian roll, split and cut into ½-inch cubes
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons flour
2 ½ cups beef broth
½ cup whole milk
6 ounces aged provolone, cut into very thin strips
2 ounces (4 slices) white American cheese, cut into very thin strips
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
1 small onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped parsley
¼ plus ⅛ teaspoon cayenne, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Wrap the sirloin in plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes. (This will make it much easier to slice thinly later!)
In a medium bowl, toss the bread cubes with 1 tablespoon of the oil, ⅛ teaspoon cayenne, and a generous pinch of salt. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden and toasty, 10–11 minutes.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan or braiser over medium heat until foamy. Add the flour and cook, stirring, until lightly golden, 2 minutes. Whisk in the broth and milk, raise the heat to high, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the broth thickens, 2–3 minutes. Stir in the cheeses, mustard, 1 teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon cayenne, and then stir to incorporate. Season with more salt and cayenne. Press foil or parchment into the surface of the soup to keep warm and keep the top of the sauce from congealing.
Remove the steak from the freezer and cut against the grain into thin slices. Add sliced steak to a medium bowl, add soy sauce and fish sauce, and stir to combine. Set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of the oil, then cook the onions and peppers, stirring often, until charred and partially softened, 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm. Add the remaining tablespoon oil, then add the steak and cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized slightly and cooked through, 3–4 minutes. Return the onions and peppers to the skillet, season with salt, and stir to incorporate.
Ladle 1 ¼ cups soup into each of 4 bowls, then divide the meat mixture among the bowls, garnish with parsley, and top with croutons.