With cooler evenings setting in, there’s nothing better than sitting down to a hot soup to warm you up. This recipe from Williams-Sonoma’s Test Kitchen combines a simple pea soup with a grilled cheese sandwich to make a wholesome meal.
By adding some ham (or if you want to go fancy, try prosciutto or a spicy pancetta) you’ll take the sandwich from classic to next level indulgence. Using a Vitamix blender, which can friction-cook soup in minutes, will make this weekend’s lunch a breeze.
- 4 tbsps olive oil
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 500g fresh or frozen peas, blanched
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 20 large fresh mint leaves, plus slivered mint for garnish
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 8 slices country-style bread, each 12mm thick
- 2 tbsps Dijon mustard
- 250g thinly sliced ham (or prosciutto, if you prefer)
- 155g grated Gruyere cheese
- Crème fraiche for serving.
In a saute pan over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Transfer the shallot mixture to a Vitamix blender and add the peas, stock and mint leaves. Slowly bring the Vitamix up to full speed and blend until the soup is hot, about 6 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, preheat an electric panini press. Place the bread on a work surface and brush with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Turn 4 of the slices over and spread each with ½ tablespoon of mustard. Top with the ham and cheese, dividing evenly. Cover with the remaining bread slices, oiled side up.
Place 2 of the sandwiches on the preheated Panini press, close the lid and cook until the bread is crisp and the cheese is melted, about 4 minutes. Transfer the sandwiches to a cutting board and cut in half. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches.
Pour the soup into bowls and garnish with crème fraiche and slivered mint. Serve the sandwiches alongside. Serves 4.
–If you enjoyed this recipe you can try many more at the Williams-Sonoma Sydney Cooking School. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced cook, book yourself in to learn a range of different techniques and cuisines.