Pea Soup with Grilled Ham and Cheese
When spring arrives, transform garden-fresh peas into this delicious soup, which is made in the powerful Vitamix blender. Add a grilled ham and cheese sandwich and enjoy a satisfying supper.
- 4 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 lb. 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, to taste
- 8 slices country-style bread, each 1/2 inch thick
- 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
- 8 oz. thinly sliced Black Forest ham
- 5 oz. grated Gruyère cheese
- Crème fraîche for serving
In a sauté pan over medium heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 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 on the “panini” setting according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Place the bread on a work surface and brush with the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil. Turn 4 of the slices over and spread each with 1/2 Tbs. 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 fraîche and slivered mint. Serve the sandwiches alongside. Serves 4.