This morning I ran out of the house without a slight thought about what to make for dinner. It rarely happens because I’m a little OCD when it comes to meal planning. I typically spend time on a Sunday meal planning for the rest of the week. This week has been a cluster. I’ve been experimenting so much in the kitchen, that my weekly routine is all out of whack.
Today it was a rainy spring day. I was thinking about dinner, and what was in my fridge that needed to be used up. Sometimes the best meals are made when random stuff gets pulled of the fridge and somehow comes together for dinner. I really felt like it was a soup day. Rainy + cold + damp = hot bowl of homemade soup. Soup doesn’t always have to take hours on the stove to be delicious. I’m a big fan of roasting my vegetables to make amazing soups in a short amount of time. I had a bag of fresh carrots in the fridge, and more ginger than I knew what to do with. I always have broth sitting in the cupboard, so I knew I wasn’t missing any ingredients.
Oh… and what goes better with soup for dinner than sandwiches?!
Other leftovers in my fridge: rotisserie chicken, fire-roasted tomato sauce, and pesto. The wheels were turning, and I was thinking some kind of cheesy, pesto, saucy chicken sandwich.
As soon as I got home from work, I preheated the oven to 400 degrees, chopped up the carrots and tossed them on a baking sheet with some cinnamon, olive oil and pepper..
While the carrots were roasting, I chopped up 2 onions, peeled and chopped garlic and ginger.The ginger really comes out in this soup. So much that it’s almost spicy.
I roasted the carrots for about 20 minutes, tossing them halfway through. They came out a nice, golden brown.
This soup is literally SO easy to make! It takes half an hour from start to finish. When the carrots are roasting, chop the other veggies, and heat up a pot with olive oil, add the onion, garlic and ginger, and saute until they’re soft. By that time, the carrots are done and ready to add to the pot with the vegetable broth.
Once the veggies and broth are added, bring it to a simmer for about 5 minutes. Immersion blenders are awesome for soups, because you don’t have to worry about ladling the soup in batches to a blender. Once it’s all blended… you’re done!
Now, for that sandwich! I will honestly say that this soup and sandwich combo are not something I would ever think to pair together. I would typically think Caesar salad with a sandwich like this, but this combo was delicious nonetheless. Plus: I’m here to craft food to give you quick and easy dinner ideas that are healthy, quick, and fills the void when you come home starving from work. And when you’re in a hurry on a weeknight, you don’t always think about perfect pairings.
What you’ll need for this sandwich:
- shredded chicken
- tomato sauce (whatever your preference)
- grated mozzarella cheese
- ciabatta bun
First, I mixed the shredded chicken with the tomato sauce. I had some leftover from a lasagna on the weekend. It was a fire-roasted tomato and garlic. So yummy.
Oh, and you’ll want your broiler on for this sandwich. 500 degrees.
I sliced the buns in half, and spread pesto on the top side of the bun. In the bottom side of the bun, I put all that saucy chicken!
Pop them in the oven and let them broil for about 4-5 minutes. Keep a close eye on them! Under the broiler, burning buns only takes a matter of seconds! I have had to scrape burned buns waaaayyy too many times for my liking. And even though I know this, it still happens from time to time.
Pull the buns out, add your cheese to the chicken, and pop it back under the broiler for about 30 seconds, until the cheese is melted….
While I’m a big fan of cheesy sandwiches, you actually don’t need a lot on this one. There are so many other flavours going on, the cheese is just a nice accompaniment to the chicken in the tomato sauce.
I will say that when I’m putting sandwiches under the broiler, ciabatta is the way to go. It gets nice and crisp around the edges, but stays soft on the inside.
And… are you ready for the beauty that is this saucy pesto chicken melt?
I finished this sandwich off with a little bit of spinach. For some crunch, and colour. And again… I found it in my fridge.
So. I put this sandwich together from start to finish in 10 minutes. Easy-peasy, and perfect for a weeknight dinner when you’re in a hurry, or have no idea what to make.
Soup and sandwiches are a perfect rainy day combo.
Oh, and PS. Did I mention you can pin all these recipes? Feel free to pin away, and save the recipes for a later time.
Roasted Carrot and Ginger Soup (Vegan, Gluten Free)
Made with warm spices and root vegetables, this soup is sure to please.
- 1 lb carrots about 6 medium, chopped
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 med onions chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp ginger finely chopped
- 1 carton vegetable broth about 5 cups
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the chopped carrots on a large baking tray. Toss with 1 tbsp olive oil, cinnamon and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, tossing halfway through.
Meanwhile, place a large pot on medium heat, and add 2 tbsp of olive oil. Once it's heated, add the onions. Sautee onions until they begin to soften, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Add the carrots to the pot, and pour in the vegetable broth. Turn up the heat to med-high, and bring to a boil. Once soup is bubbling, lower the heat to a simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and use an immersion blender to puree the soup.
If you don't have an immersion blender, a regular blender will work just as good, but ensure the soup is pureed in batches.
Cheesy Pesto Chicken Melts
My take on an Italian Sandwich. Shredded chicken is tossed in tomato sauce, and placed on a soft bun with pesto and cheese.
- 2 Ciabatta buns
- 1 cup shredded chicken
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce your preference!
- 2 tbsp pesto
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese grated
- red onion
Preheat the broiler to 500 degrees. Slice the buns in half and spread the pesto on the top side of the buns.
In a bowl, mix the chicken with the tomato sauce. Place the chicken on the bottom half of the buns. Pop them under the broiler. Broil for 2-3 minutes, until the edges of the buns are starting to lightly brown.
Pull the buns out of the oven, spread the grated cheese across the top of the chicken, and return to the broiler for 1-2 minutes. Remove, and add any additional toppings to the sandwich.
You can use any bun you'd like, I prefer ciabatta because it toasts very nicely, but also stays soft on the inside.