Monte Cristo Panini with Creamy Tomato Pesto Soup


  • Prep Time15 mins
  • Total Time35 mins
  • Makes6 Servings
Monte Cristo Panini with Creamy Tomato Pesto Soup

Photo: Andrew Grinton

Tomato soup and grilled cheese is a way of life. We put a classy spin on the pair by adding pesto to the soup and ham and Swiss to the sandwich. You're going to dig it.


  • 12 slies Texas sandwich bread, preferable whole wheat

  • 2 tsp to 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, optional

  • 250 g sliced Swiss

  • 175 g sliced Black Forest ham

  • 3 cups packed baby spinach leaves, optional

  • 2 tbsp butter


  • 1 tbsp butter, optional

  • 1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped (optional)

  • 670 mL bottle strained tomatoes

  • 900 mL carton chicken broth

  • 3 tbsp pesto

  • 1/2 cup 35% cream

  • 50 mL grated Parmesan, optional


  • Lay out 6 bread slices and lightly spread with mustard, if using. Top with a cheese slice and a few ham slices, folding under as needed. Over each, mound 1/2 cup of the spinach leaves, if using. Top each with another cheese slice and remaining bread.

  • Now, make the soup. In a saucepan, melt 1 tbsp butter over medium heat, then add onion. Stir often until onion is very soft, 8 to 10 min. (For a smooth soup, omit butter and onion.) Add tomatoes, broth and pesto. Stir occasionally until hot, about 10 min. Remove from heat and stir in cream.

  • Meanwhile, melt 1 tbsp butter in a large frying pan, on medium heat, and swirl to coat. Add half of sandwiches to pan. Using a pot or flat pan lid that’s smaller than the frying pan, firmly press down sandwiches. Cook, covered, until sandwich undersides are golden, 2 to 4 min. Turn, then press and cover again. Continue cooking until golden on both sides, 2 to 4 min. Remove to baking sheet and cover with foil to keep warm.

  • Repeat with remaining sandwiches. Slice sandwiches in half. Serve with a bowl or mug of soup, garnished with a little Parmesan if you like.

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories 556, Protein 22g, Carbohydrates 55g, Fat 28g, Fibre 7g.

Originally published in the December 2011 issue. Photo by Andrew Grinton. 

This article was originally published on Dec 01, 2017

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