Open-Faced Croque Monsieur
with pureed butternut squash soup
Cheesy, bubbly croque monsieurs don't have to come from a French cafe. See how easy they are to make at home. Paired with a creamy butternut squash soup, you'll feel like you're dining at the finest of cafes!
- Gruyere or Swiss cheese - 4 oz, sliced
- Sandwich bread - 4 slices
- Butter - 1 Tbsp
- All-purpose flour - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Milk, any type - 1 cup
- Nutmeg - pinch
- Mustard, Dijon - 4 to 8 tsp
- Black forest ham - 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!)
I'm not sure I made the bechamel sauce correctly; it was watery. The whole thing took a long time. My husband said the butternut squash soup needed sour cream, sage, garlic and shallots. Personally, I found it a light and healthy version! But need to be sure to puree thoroughly.0 Helpful
It took me a while, but it was very delicious!0 Helpful
Excellent as always.0 Helpful
It was ok but the bechamel was extra calories without really being worth it.0 Helpful
Soup needed more flavor, but the sandwich was delicious.0 Helpful