Who says that dinner has to be Michelin-star-worthy and restaurant-quality every single night? Most of our members are busy folks who don’t have time to make homemade pasta or their own puff pastry for pot pie, and that’s okay. We don’t either!
Although we enjoy making things like pesto or hummus, there will always be those days where we just don’t have the time. We get home late, it’s almost 8 o’clock, and we’re hungry.
That’s where meals like this week’s weeknight recipe come in. Simple, quick, delicious, and, for the most part, still homemade. There’s a couple of shortcuts, though, to make this dinner come together easily – store-bought pesto and sliced turkey meat.
“First words out of my 8 year olds mouth, “mmmm delicious!” That says it all.”
Never underestimate sliced deli meat! It’s a fast and tasty way to add protein to your meals without having to cook any meat first. As for pesto, it’s super easy to make (we even show you how to make a hand-chopped pesto here, without needing to break out the food processor), but buying a jar of pesto from the grocery store can save you 15 minutes. It might not sound like much, but 15 minutes extra of relaxation time sounds pretty darn good to us!
We pair these shortcut ingredients with bread, avocado, and cheese, for a flavorful and delicious sammy. You can also customize it to your liking – add sliced tomatoes or use your favorite kind of cheese. Recipes are flexible, but if there’s one thing we insist on, it’s that a sammy tastes even better with a hot bowl of soup on the side. (Or with sweet potato fries!)
Our homemade tomato soup can be made in a jiff. All we do is saute aromatics, add canned tomatoes, stock, and dried herbs / spices, and after simmering for 10 minutes, it’s ready to be pureed and enjoyed. That’s all it takes!
“I cheated with the soup and used store bought, but this combo was soooo good! Great gourmet twist on a classic! Hubby gave it 4 stars!”
Of course, if you’re looking for another shortcut, do what Kitchen Hero Liane did and use store-bought tomato soup. Then top with feta cheese and kalamata olives for a Greek twist on a classic tomato soup.
So if you need a quick fix for dinner, don’t brush off an easy soup and sandwich combo. It might not be anything spectacular, but sometimes dinner tastes best when it’s uncomplicated, but still delicious. Besides, this sure beats frozen pizza or greasy take-out any day!
Want more shortcut meals?
- Take advantage of more deli meat by using it in a Deli Cobb Salad with Creamy Cilantro Yogurt Dressing
- Buy your favorite brand of hummus and pita bread to go alongside Cumin-Spiced Beef Kebabs
- Our ultimate favorite shortcut ingredient is rotisserie chicken! See our recipes that call for rotisserie chicken here.
For More Smarts:
If you feel like your soup is missing a little something, get creative and jazz it up with dried herbs and spices. Our Ultimate Guide to Spices can turn you into a flavoring pro and turn meh meals to wow! dinners.
Remember: recipes are flexible, so don’t be afraid to taste and adjust seasonings to your liking!
Even though this is a shortcut meal, a little bit of knife work is still involved. Onions and olives need to be chopped and sliced for the soup, and avocados sliced for the sammies. You can buy pre-sliced olives to skip chopping them. As for the onions, they don’t need to be perfect, since you’ll be pureeing it altogether anyway. Here’s how:
Check out our video below for chopping avocados. For slices instead of lightly mashed avocados, only make the long cuts in the avocado (instead of a grid as shown below) and use a spoon to scoop the slices out:
Learn how to puree soups with our video for this basic cooking formula:
We don’t know where we would be without our Dutch oven. We’ve relied on it to help us make many soups, including this tomato soup. Such a great investment!
Putting the sandwiches all on a sheet pan makes it easier to put in and take out of the oven.
A hand-held immersion blender is an efficient and quick way to make pureed soups. You don’t have to worry about bulky blenders, making it easier to wash and clean.
For more kitchen and equipment and tool smarts, visit our ‘Essential Kitchen Cookware and Tools’
- Open-Faced Pesto Turkey Avocado Melt:
- Avocados (large) – 1 (Sub 2 small)
- Sandwich bread – 4 slices
- Store-bought pesto – 4 Tbsp
- Turkey slices – 8
- Cheese (like Swiss, gruyere, mozzarella) – 4 slices
- Greek Tomato Soup:
- Onions (small) – 1, chopped
- Kalamata olives – 1/4 cup, pitted and sliced
- Diced tomatoes (28 oz) – 1 can, drained
- Cooking oil – 1 Tbsp
- Crushed tomatoes – 1 cup
- Chicken stock – 2 cups
- Oregano – 1/2 tsp
- Feta – 2 Tbsp, crumbled
- For soup | Onions / Olives – Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 4 days ahead)
- For melts | Avocado – Scoop avocado out of skin and mash with a bit of salt and pepper (or mix pesto right into avocado if you want!).
- Diced tomatoes – Open and drain out liquid.
- Heat oven to 375F (191C) degrees.
- Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil and then onions to heated oil. Saute for ~3 minutes, until onions start to soften.
- Add in diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, and oregano. Cover and bring to a boil, and then simmer uncovered for ~10 minutes.
- While soup is simmering, lay out sandwich bread onto a sheet pan. Spread 1 tbsp (15ml) of pesto on each piece of bread, and then layer with turkey, avocado, and cheese. Bake in the oven for 6 to 9 minutes, until cheese has melted and is slightly golden.
- After soup has simmered, puree with an immersion / stick blender (like in this video) when it’s cool enough to work with (or transfer into a blender in batches). If using an immersion blender, I like to move the pot into the kitchen sink in case of spattering. Puree until smooth. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.
- Divide soup into bowls. Garnish with olives and feta. Enjoy with your melts right out of the oven!