Chic Eats: Quick, Healthy Soup-and-Salad Combo PDF Print E-mail
Written by VendiRei Jones   
Wednesday, 14 April 2010 13:22

Chic Eats: Quick, Healthy Soup-and-Salad Combo
Need time-saving menu ideas? Our Chic Chef shows you a quick take on a classic combination that your family will love. Learn how to make this silky, elegant soup served with hearty bruschetta.

To my knowledge, we've yet to figure out how to fit more than 24 hours in a day. With work, kids and life, sometimes putting a home-cooked meal on the table every night is daunting. Dinner often becomes an afterthought of frozen pizza or a trip to the drive-thru. Until we learn how to stretch the hours in our day, you can find hope in the form of the classic soup-and-sandwich combination.


The season for English peas falls between late spring and early summer. When the first peas appear in the markets, take advantage of these naturally sweet and flavorful legumes. They make a quick, tasty addition to salads, primavera pastas and vegetable dips. For our Chilled Spring Pea Soup, sauteed onions and garlic add another layer of flavor to this simple but satisfying soup. With just five ingredients (salt, pepper and canola oil excluded), this soup comes together in a matter of minutes. Saute garlic and onions quickly. Then blend with fresh peas, extra virgin olive oil and chicken stock. To make the soup vegetarian or vegan friendly, simply replace the chicken stock with vegetable broth.


For the "sandwich" portion of your soup-and-salad combo, serve Prosciutto and Red Pepper Bruschetta. Traditionally, bruschetta is made by rubbing a slice of grilled bread with a clove of garlic and topping it with a wide variety of ingredients. For our recipe, salty ribbons of prosciutto (salt-cured and air-dried Italian ham), roasted red peppers and sweet cherry tomatoes top a garlic-rubbed slice of grilled bread. Serve the soup and sandwich with a dry sparkling white wine like a blanc de blanc or a fruit-forward pinot gris.


Yield: 6 servings


Chilled Spring Pea Soup



  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/3 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 pounds fresh English peas, shelled
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper



  • Heat canola oil over medium heat in a small sautee pan. Add onions and garlic and cook until translucent and fragrant.
  • Place onions, garlic, olive oil and peas in a blender. Heat stock in medium saucepann to boiling and add to blender. Cover the blender with a folded kitchen towel. Carefully blend on low speed for one minute, lifting towel and scraping sides as needed. Cover blender securely with the folded towel.
  • Increase speed to medium-high and blend until completely smooth.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Strain through a fine mesh strainer and chill.
  • Adjust seasoning and serve with a garnish of olive oil and freshly ground pepper.


Prosciutto and Red Pepper Bruschetta


  • 6 slices crusty bread, cut to be 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 whole clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 2 deli-thin slices Prosciutto di Parma, cut into thin 1/8inch wide ribbons
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 cup yellow cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1 large leaf basil, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, as needed



  • Broil the bell pepper until the skin is almost completely black, keeping a careful eye on it and turning it occasionally.
  • Place the pepper in a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow the steam to loosen the skin.
  • When the pepper is cool enough to handle, peel the skin and chop.
  • Heat a grill pan to medium-high. Brush the grill and bread slices with oil.
  • Grill the bread slices, two to three minutes per side or until you have nice grill marks.
  • Rub the warm slices lightly with the garlic clove.
  • Combine all but the bread and prosciutto.
  • Divide the mixture among the six bread slices and top with the prosciutto.




Photo courtesy of VendiRei Jones

VendiRei Jones -

VendiRei Jones is the chef/owner of Torta, a licensed home bakery specializing in sweet and savory tarts. E-mail her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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