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Playing Rach Serves Up Grilled Cheese + Soup Italian-Style

"I'm making one of the most favorite combinations in the world—a cheesy sandwich and some soup," says Rach. She combines the Italian version of grilled cheese, mozzarella en carrozza (which is actually breaded and fried!), with hearty Tuscan bean and kale soup. It's a winner!  

Pro Tip from Rach: If you're a vegetarian, just leave out the guanciale in the soup and use vegetable broth. It will still be delicious. 

For another of Rach's favorite soup and sandwich combos, check out her Pumpkin Soup and Muffaletta Grilled Cheese


For the Soup:
  • 3 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1/3 pound guanciale or pancetta, finely diced
  • 1 large or 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 bundle rosemary and thyme sprigs, tied
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 chunk of Parm rind
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped
  • 1 small bunch of flat kale, stemmed and shredded
  • A few grates of nutmeg
  • 2 quarts chicken or beef stock or bone broth
  • 2 cans white beans (cannellini) or 1 ½ cups dried, soaked and cooked with onion and bay
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Grated cheese, to pass
For the Sandwiches:
  • Frying-grade olive oil, about ¾ to 1 inches in skillet
  • 8 slices white bread, crusts removed
  • 8 slices fresh mozzarella cheese (12 ounces)
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup grated Parm


Serves: 4


For the soup, heat oil in soup pot over medium to medium-high heat and render the guanciale 3 to 4 minutes. Add onions, celery, carrots, herb bundle, bay leaves, Parm rind, salt and pepper and soften a few minutes. Add the garlic, kale, nutmeg and stock and bring to a boil, then add beans and stir to combine. Cover and simmer 20 to 30 minutes. Remove herb bundle, bay leaves and Parm rind. Add lemon juice and serve with cheese.   

For the sandwiches, heat oil in skillet to 350°F over medium to medium-high heat. 

12-Inch Premium RUST-RESISTANT™ Cast Iron Skillet

12-Inch Premium RUST-RESISTANT™ Cast Iron Skillet

Rachael Ray

Top 4 slices of bread with sliced mozzarella cheese, salt and pepper, then top with the rest of the bread. Coat sandwiches in flour, egg and breadcrumbs mixed with Parm and fry to golden, 2 to 3 minutes on each side.   

Serve sandwiches with soup.