Monday, 15 February 2016

soup-and-sandwich syndicate

For a few years, we’ve had one of those sandwich-makers to take camping with us, but having received a “panini-press” for the holidays, we’ve aspired to create some soup and sandwich combinations for indoors as well. Lately, we tried Cheese and Leek soup with egg and cheese toasts.

For the soup, ingredients for four bowls call for:

  • Salt, pepper, parsley, bay-leaves nutmeg for seasoning
  • 100 millilitre (about half a cup) of dry white wine
  • Six slices of wheat bread for toasting and for the croutons 
  • A heaping tablespoon of flour
  • Butter
  • 100 gram (4 oz) container of heavy crème 
  • 1 litre (4 cups) vegetable stock from bullion 
  • Around 600 grams (about a pound) of leeks, washed, peeled and cut into thin rings 

For the toast:

  • Bread and butter from above
  • 2 eggs 
  • Sliced cheese (Gouda or Gruyère) 
  • Spinach leaves or lamb’s lettuce (Feldsalat

There’s no cheese left out of the cheese soup, of course, but that’s where it gets a bit tricky. In German markets, there’s Schmelzkäse that’s made for soup and I suppose it’s like the pasteurized processed cheese food that’s available in the States, but looks some much less estranged from natural cheese and is much more appetising. In any case, use about 500 grams of your local-equivalent. In the soup pot, braise the rings of leek in butter for three minutes, dusting the leek with the flour afterwards. Introduce the white wine, vegetable stock with the bay leaves and allow it to cook on low heat for another ten minutes or so. Remove the bay leaves and breaking the cheese product of choice into small cubes, add that and the heavy crème to the pot and allow to cook for an additional ten minutes, stirring often and making sure that the cheese is melting. In the meantime, cut two slices of the bread into little cubes and braise them in butter in a separate pan (you can save the pan for the eggs) for about three minutes until crisp and set aside on a paper-napkin to dry. Prepare two eggs sunny-side-up and in your sandwich-maker/pie-iron/panini-press, make the toasts with the egg, cheese slice and leafy green filling—sort of like a croque-monsieur. Season the soup with nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste and garnish with croutons and parsley.