Black Bean Tomato Soup and Southwestern Monte Cristo Sandwiches

Black bean tomato soup and southwest monte cristo

This recipe for Black Bean Tomato Soup with Southwestern Monte Cristo Sandwiches is inspired by a recipe I found by Rachael Ray. Her version features black bean “stoup”, which I opted not to make because reading through the recipe, it looked more like a recipe for a pot of beans than a soup recipe, but, hey, I guess that’s why she calls it “stoup”. I already have my own recipe for a pot of black beans, and I don’t find it soupy enough to dip a sandwich in. I wanted something more brothy, and since this is a spin on grilled, cheese, more like a southwestern tomato soup. I threw together my own brothy tomato soup, seasoned with cumin, coriander and a chipotle en adobo sauce and then followed her instructions for making the southwestern monte cristo sandwiches. The flavors were fantastic, but the texture of the sandwich wasn’t quite what I remembered of the monte cristos of my childhood. So I went with the more traditional method of making a monte cristo, by adding a little flour and baking powder to the egg mixture, while keeping Rachael Ray’s suggested flavorings of hot sauce and pepper jack. Score! What a great pairing. 

I’d start by chopping all your vegetables and then prepare the batter for the monte cristos because it needs to chill about 30 minutes. While it’s chilling, make your soup, then let it simmer for about a half an hour. In the last ten minutes of cooking the soup, assemble and fry your sandwiches.

Black Bean Soup and Southwest Monte Cristo Sandwiches
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A spicy monte cristo sandwich made with hot sauce and pepper jack goes perfectly with this brothy southwestern-flavored black bean tomato soup.
Yield: 4 sandwiches and 4 bowls soup
  • 1 stalk celery, diced fine
  • ½ an onion, diced fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup/8 ounces black beans, precooked, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups/750 ml chicken broth
  • 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 chipotle pepper, chopped, plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 8 slices white bread
  • hot sauce for spreading, such as Cholula
  • 8 slices deli ham
  • 8 slices roast turkey
  • 4 slices pepper jack cheese
  • ⅔ cup water
  • 1 egg
  • dash of hot sauce (optional)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • oil for frying (we used about an inch in a wok)
  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in large sauce pot. Saute celery, onion, and bay leaf until beginning to soften. Add minced garlic and saute 1 more minute.
  2. Season onion mixture with cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper. Add chipotle, adobo sauce, and black beans. Stir to incorporate.
  3. Add chicken stock and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Meanwhile, make monte cristos.
  1. In a small bowl, beat egg, water and hot sauce, if using, together. Add salt, flour and baking powder. Mix until smooth Chill for 30 minutes.
  2. Assemble sandwiches by spreading bread with hot sauce. Alternate layers of ham and turkey, with pepper jack in the center.
  3. Once batter is well-chilled, remove from refrigerator. Heat oil for frying in wok or deep frying pan. Dip each sandwich in the batter and tap to shake off excess. Fry both sides in oil until crispy and golden. Serve with soup for dipping.




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