Saturday, September 15, 2012

Soup and Sandwiches

Our high temperature yesterday was about 70 degrees; time for soup and sandwiches!  Now everyone loves Campbells Tomato soup with an American cheese sandwich.  Well I'm gonna take the soup and sandwich a few steps further and make a delicious black bean soup with a hearty grilled chicken, apple, and smoked gruyère cheese sandwich.  Be sure while you're making these recipes that you keep a good pumpkin beer next to you while you're cooking (all of the Oktoberfest beers are out finally!  YAY!).  Start cooking the soup first because you can let that sit on low heat for hours if needed:

Smoked Black Bean Soup
2 chopped butcher cut slices of smoked bacon
1 small chopped onion
1 minced garlic clove
1 15oz can of chicken broth
1 15oz can of black beans drained & rinsed
1 1/2 Tbsp of tomato paste
1 minced hot pepper (jalapeno, hot chili, etc.)
2 tsp smoked paprika
salt & pepper to taste
freshly grated smoked cheddar cheese for garnish

What's better than the smell of cooked bacon?!
In a medium to large pot, cook bacon over medium heat until cooked/crunchy.  Then add onion and garlic to bacon and grease (do not drain the bacon; why would you do that?!) until onion is tender. Add black beans, broth, tomato paste, and hot pepper and bring to a boil over medium high heat, then simmer for 25 minutes.  Then take about 75% of the soup and put in in a blender and blend until smooth or until you get the consistency you want (start off slow so that soup doesn't fly everywhere!).  Add back to original pot and add salt, pepper, and paprika.  Pour into a coffee mug and top off with some smoked cheddar! (2-3 servings)

Grilled Chicken and Apple Cheese Sandwich
(makes 3 sandwiches)

3 thinly cut chicken breasts
1 granny smith apple, cored and cut into thin slices
gruyère cheese sliced
your choice of bread.  I used marble rye.
salt, pepper, and smoked paprika
soft butter for the bread
EVOO


Season the chicken breast with the salt, pepper, and smoked paprika and drizzle EVOO on top.  Set on a medium to medium-high grill for about 5 minutes and turn.  When you turn the chicken, set the apple on the grill and keep a fairly close eye on them (they can burn and dry out easily).  When the chicken and apples are cooked (about 5-7 more minutes), place the buttered bread (butter side down of course) on the hot grill and assemble your sandwich with the gruyère cheese.  Grill each side for about 6 minutes, but be careful that the bread doesn't stick to the grills.  Then enjoy with your black bean soup!


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