Open-Faced Croque Monsieur
with pureed butternut squash soup
- Cheese, gruyere or swiss - 4 oz , sliced
- Bread, sandwich - 4 slices
- Butter - 1 Tbsp
- Flour, all-purpose - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Milk, any type - 1 cup
- Nutmeg - pinch
- Mustard, Dijon - 4 to 8 tsp
- Ham, black forest - 8 oz
- Onions - 1 , chopped
- Apples, any type - 1 , peeled and chopped
- Thyme, fresh leaves - 1 Tbsp
- Butternut squash - 3 lbs , chopped
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Brown sugar - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Stock, chicken - 4 cups
Heat oven to 400F / 204C. Place bread onto a sheet pan and toast on both sides for 2 to 3 minutes each.
Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil and then onions, apples, thyme and brown sugar to heated oil. Saute for ~5 minutes.
Add butternut squash and cover with broth / stock or water. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer covered until butternut squash is tender, 8 to 12 minutes.
While soup is cooking, make bechamel sauce for croque monsieur. Melt butter in a small saucepan, heated over medium heat. Whisk flour into melted butter and cook for ~2 minutes.
Pour in milk, whisking constantly until sauce is thickened. Remove from heat, and add nutmeg, plus some salt and pepper.
Spread mustard onto bread and then top with ham, gruyere, and bechamel (divide ingredients across slices of bread). Place onto a sheet pan and then broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until cheese and bechamel are golden and bubbly.
While croque monsieur is broiling, puree butternut squash soup with an immersion blender (or puree in batches in a blender). Taste and then season with salt, pepper, and brown sugar as needed - remember soups are mostly water so they need some additional seasoning!
Enjoy soup with hot open-faced croque monsieurs on the side! (If you still have sour cream leftover from earlier this week, feel free to add a dollop for extra creaminess in the soup!)