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Soup and Sandwich 7of12 | by Food Thinkers
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Soup and Sandwich 7of12

It’s always hard for working moms, whether they work at home or away, to put a healthy quick meal on the table. This soup-and-sandwich combo — minestrone with Black Forest ham and Fontina panini — is easy to create. Older kids can come home from school to warm the soup and grill the sandwich for a delicious, satisfying meal.


Soup Ingredients


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, diced

2 carrots, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

sea or kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

1 large can roma tomatoes, crushed

2 quarts chicken stock

½ pound green beans, cut into ½” pieces

1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup small shaped pasta, cooked and cooled

1 cup Swiss chard or spinach, cut into 1″ pieces

1 small lemon, juiced

2 cups cocktail meatballs, cooked, defrosted if frozen, optional


Pesto Ingredients


½ bunch basil leaves, packed

1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

salt and pepper to taste


Panini Ingredients


8 slices of thick French or Italian bread

sun-dried tomato pesto or Dijon mustard

4 slices Black Forest ham

1 cup Fontina cheese, grated, divided


Soup Instructions


1. If your slow cooker has an insert, place it over medium heat with oil; otherwise use a heavy fry pan. Add onions, carrots and celery, season with a little salt and pepper and sauté until translucent.

2. Return the insert into the slow cooker and add tomatoes, stock, and green beans. Cook on low heat for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.

3. About 15 minutes before serving, add kidney and cannellini beans, pasta, Swiss chard or spinach and meatballs, if using. Serve with a swirl of pesto and lemon juice to taste.


Pesto Instructions


1. In a blender or the bowl of a food processor, add garlic and pine nuts. Pulse until you have fairly small pieces.

2.Add basil and pulse until it becomes a paste. Add cheese and pulse to blend; with motor running, add oil until you have a smooth paste.

3.Season with salt and pepper, set aside.


Panini Instructions


1. Heat a panini grill while you prepare the sandwich. Or if the sandwich is pre-made, remove from refrigerator and let come to room temperature.

2. Brush pesto or mustard on one side of all 8 slices of bread. Layer with ham and cheese, cover with the other side of prepared bread. Brush the outside of the bread very lightly with oil or butter and place that side down on the hot panini press. Brush the slice of bread facing up with a little butter or oil and close the panini lid. Cook until the cheese is melted and the bread has toasted to a light brown.


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Taken on March 17, 2010