These stuffed ham and cheese crêpes can be prepared the day before - and can be made without ham for vegetarians. You could serve them with a simple cherry-tomato salad, if you are not starting with the tomato soup.
115g plain flour
120g buckwheat flour
Pinch of salt
2 medium eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Sunflower oil, for greasing
For the stuffing
1kg young spinach, washed
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 medium onions, finely chopped
240g slices lean, smoked ham
225g cream cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
225g Taleggio cheese
For the crêpes, sift the flours and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Using a wooden spoon, slowly mix the eggs into the flour until it starts to form a smooth paste.
Little by little, beat in the milk, then 170ml cold water. Once you have a smooth batter, strain into a jug, stir in the oil and leave to rest for 30 minutes in the fridge. When ready, loosen the mixture with a little water if necessary.
Set a small (15-20cm diameter base), heavy frying pan over a medium heat. Wipe it with a piece of kitchen paper soaked with sunflower oil. When hot, pour in enough batter to coat the base thinly when you rotate the pan. Once the batter begins to set and lightly colour, loosen the edges with a greased palette knife and flip over. Cook for another minute, then slip the pancake on to a plate. Grease the pan and repeat the process until you have used all the batter. This will make between 24 and 32 pancakes.
For the stuffing, set a large pan of boiling water over a high heat. Drop about one-sixth of the spinach into the boiling water. As soon as it wilts - a matter of seconds - remove to a colander and cool under cold running water. Repeat with the remaining spinach. Once cool, squeeze out the excess water, roughly chop and place in a mixing bowl.
Set a larger frying pan over a low heat. Add the olive oil and, once hot, stir in the onions. Fry gently for 10 minutes or until golden and soft. Mix into the spinach.
Remove any fat from the ham and cut into small squares. Beat into the spinach with the cream cheese. Season to taste.
Lightly butter 2 shallow, ovenproof serving dishes (I use 20 x 30cm oval dishes). Divide the stuffing between the pancakes, spreading it to about 0.5cm from the edge. Fold them into quarters as you go along and arrange them, slightly overlapping, in the dishes.
Remove the rind from the Taleggio, roughly dice and scatter over the crêpes. Cover and chill until needed.
Heat the oven to 180ºC/mark 4. Uncover the crêpes and bake in the oven for 30minutes, or until the cheese is melted and flecked golden and the crêpes are piping hot.
TO DRINK: This is a versatile dish which would suit white wines, including Chardonnay, and reds, such as the Beaujolais recommended with the chicken-liver salad, or a Pinot Noir - for example, New Zealand Majestic Peaks Pinot Noir 2008.
From the May 2010 issue of House & Garden. Recipe by Sybil Kapoor; photograph by Laura Edwards; food preparation and styling by Puff Fairclough; wine recommendations by Joanna Simon; table styling by Alexander Breeze.