Creamy Tomato Soup and Italian Patty Melts

  • Yield : 4 servings
  • Prep Time : 15m
  • Cook Time : 20m
  • Ready In : 35m
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  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 3 (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 rounded tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut in pieces
  • 1 stalk of celery, coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup Watercress and Hazelnut Pesto or store bought prepared basil pesto, available on dairy aisle
  • 12 ounces watercress, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it
  • 2 cloves cracked garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground or grated nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 4 sweet Italian sausage patties, 1/4 pound each, available in packaged meat case of the market
  • 1 cubanelle long sweet Italian light green pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 medium yellow skinned onion, sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 slices Italian bread, or white bread
  • 8 slices deli-sliced provolone


Step 1

Heat the milk over moderate heat in a medium pot. Put tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, salt and pepper, sugar, flour, butter, celery into a food processor and grind until smooth. Pour mixture into milk and raise heat to bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. While soup cooks, make pesto and sammies.

Step 2

Fill the food processor with watercress, loosely packed. Add hazelnuts, 1/2 of the oil and garlic cloves to the watercress in the processor. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper to the processor bowl, set lid in place and pulse grind the mixture into a thick paste. Add any remaining watercress to the processor and grind into the paste by pulsing the processor again. Transfer watercress paste to a bowl. Stir in the remaining oil and the cheese. Taste pesto sauce and adjust seasonings.

Step 3

Heat a griddle over medium high heat. Drizzle the pan with extra-virgin olive oil and add the patties and cook 5 minutes on each side. Remove from the griddle and add another tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and the peppers and onions. Season the peppers and onions and cook until just tender, 5 minutes. Remove them from the griddle. Wipe the griddle clean and reduce heat to medium low. Assemble sandwiches: place 4 slices of bread down, top with 1/4 each of the peppers onions, then a slice of cheese, a cooked sausage patty, another slice of cheese and then place bread on top. Add butter to griddle and cook sammy melts 2 or 3 minutes on each side until golden and cheese is melted. Press with spatula as sammies cook or set another heavy skillet on sammies to weigh them down.

Step 4

Pour soup into shallow bowls and add a couple of rounded spoonfuls of pesto to each dish and stir it into the soup. Cut the patty melts corner to corner and dip in the soup as you eat.

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