Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Not Just a Soup and a Sandwich

I bet you read the words "soup and sandwich" and wondered if this post would be worth reading. A soup and a sandwich is something you can get at a deli, or even some grocery stores, so why would you want to read a recipe for it?

Well, I am so glad you decided to keep reading because this is one of the easiest and tastiest soups I've ever made. And, just to make it a little more special, the sandwich I've paired it with is actually more of a crouton. It's a grilled cheese sandwich cut into tiny cubes that are floated on top of the soup. So, you see, I meant what I said when I told you that it wasn't just a soup and a sandwich; it's a little more special than that!

Read on for my recipe, inspired by a fennel soup recipe in Jamie Oliver's newest cookbook.

Fennel Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons - serves 4

1 large onion, diced
2 medium or 1 1/2 large bulbs of fennel, diced and fronds reserved for garnish
6 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large carton of vegetable stock, about 4 cups
1 can of white beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup of nutritional yeast, optional to give extra flavour
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 large thin slices of rye bread
1/4 or so mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon butter, for spreading on the bread

1. Add onion, fennel, garlic, and oil to a large soup pot and sauté at medium heat until veggies start to soften, about 5-8 minutes.

2. Add vegetable stock and white beans and continue cooking until veggies are fully cooked through. Stir in nutritional yeast, if using.

3. While veggies are cooking, make your grilled cheese croutons. Butter each slice of bread and sandwich the cheese inside, buttered bread side out. Cook in a frying pan on low heat until bread crisps and cheese is gooey.

4. When veggies are fully cooked, stir in the nutritional yeast, if using. Then purée soup in a blender or directly in the pot with an immersion blender.

5. Stir mustard and lemon juice into the soup and season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with fennel fronds.

6. Cut grilled cheese into small cubes and toss a few croutons on top of each bowl of soup. Enjoy right away.

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