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Soup and a sandwich makes the ideal lunch combo

 

Last updated 1/14/2019 at 3:23pm

FALLBROOK – Few things are better together than hot soup and a favorite sandwich for lunch or a light dinner. This combination is the ideal comfort food, and the variations are as endless as a someone’s imagination.

Thanks to two recipes from “What’s Cooking Italian,” published by Thunder Bay Press, by Penny Stephens, home chefs can put an Italian spin on the soup-sandwich pairing with Mozzarella Sandwiches and Creamy Tomato Soup.

Mozzarella Sandwiches

Start to finish: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

8 slices day-old bread, crusts removed

3 1/2 ounces mozzarella cheese, thickly sliced

8 canned anchovy fillets, drained and chopped

16 fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup pitted black olives, chopped

4 eggs, beaten

2/3 cup milk

Oil for deep-frying

Salt and pepper

Cut each slice of bread into two triangles. Top eight bread triangles with mozzarella slices and chopped anchovies. Place basil leaves and olives on top and season with salt and pepper to taste. Lay the other eight triangles of bread over the top and press them down around the edges to seal.

In a small bowl, mix eggs and milk; pour into an ovenproof dish. Add the sandwiches and leave to soak for 5 minutes.

Heat oil in a large pan until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds; the oil will be hot enough for deep-frying. Before cooking the sandwiches, squeeze the edges together again.

Carefully, place the sandwiches in the oil and deep-fry for 2 minutes or until golden, turning once. Remove the sandwiches with a slotted spoon and set to drain on paper towels. Serve immediately while still hot.

Creamy Tomato Soup

Start to finish: 40 minutes

Serves: 4

3 tablespoons butter

1 pound, 9 ounces ripe tomatoes, preferably plum, roughly chopped

3 3/4 cups hot vegetable stock

2/3 cup milk or light cream

1/4 cup ground almonds

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons shredded basil leaves

Salt and pepper

In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes, until the skins start to wrinkle. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the stock to the pan, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, under a preheated broiler, lightly toast the ground almonds until they are golden brown, which should take 1-2 minutes, so watch them closely.

Remove the soup from the heat and place in a food processor. Blend the mixture to form a smooth consistency. Alternatively, mash the soup with a potato masher. Press the soup through a strainer to remove any tomato skin or seeds.

Place the soup back in the pan and return to the heat. Stir in the milk or cream, ground almonds and sugar. Warm the soup through and add the shredded basil just before serving.

Transfer the soup to warm bowls and serve hot.

 

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