Cream of pea soup with croque monsieur

Andrew Turners quick pea soup is turned into a filling supper dish with the addition of snack-size rounds of croquet monsieur
Cream of pea soup with croque monsieur
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 5
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes plus 10 minutes chilling
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small leek, white part only, finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1 small potato, peeled and finely diced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 1.5 litres chicken stock
  • 250 ml whipping cream
  • 500 g frozen peas
  • 1 small bunches mint, leaves only
  • 1 handfuls pea shoots, sprinkled with vinaigrette, to serve

For the croque monsieur

  • 350 ml whipping cream
  • 400 g gruy√®re cheese, grated
  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • several medium slices white bread
  • 200 g york ham, sliced
  • 5 quail's eggs

Method

1. Melt the butter in a large heavy-based saucepan and sweat the onion, leek, celery, potato, garlic and bouquet garni until the onion is soft.

2. Stir in the chicken stock and cream and season to taste with salt.

3. Bring the soup to a simmer, add the peas and mint leaves and cook quickly for 5 minutes or just until the peas are tender. (Do not overcook or the peas and mint will lose their colour.)

4. Transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and blend until very smooth. Return to a clean pan and keep warm.

5. For the croque monsieur: in a medium saucepan, bring the cream to the boil, add the cheese, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir over a medium heat until the cheese is melted and the mixture is smooth.

6. Butter the bread and place half the slices butter side down on a baking tray or shallow dish. Pour over half the cheese sauce, top with the ham slices and then the remaining cheese sauce. Top with the remaining bread slices, butter side up.

7. Put the croque monsieur in the fridge for 10 minutes to set the filling, then cut out rounds with a round pastry cutter.

8. Pan-fry the croque monsieur rounds until golden brown. In the same pan, fry the quail eggs and place one on top of each croque monsieur.

9. To serve, put a croque monsieur into each soup bowl, decorate with pea shoots and pour over the warm soup.

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