The temperatures around here have been dropping which has put me in the mood for soups and stews. Fall is my favorite time of year for all things. The weather, the colors, hayrides, apple picking, pumpkin patches, Halloween, Thanksgiving, I love it all! It was quite spectacular to see the school bus drive past my house yesterday. My kids are not in school just yet but there is just something about the first day of school that makes me giddy. Not that I am ready to rush my kids out in to the world but I am truly looking forward to their school days. Ahhh fall.... I digress....
It seems silly to be talking about Autumn in August but the weather will do what the weather will do. As I sifted through my collection of soups and stews I was delighted when I came across my pepperoni pizza soup. It has been a while since I had made this and forgot how I put it together, it has zucchini!!! I created this recipe in 2008 when I had given up wheat and dairy and missed pizza so much. I was determined to find a way to enjoy the flavors even though I would be missing the gooey cheese.
When I make this I like to make spelt bread sticks. Which is just a spelt pizza dough baked in a heavily oiled (EVOO) 13x9 pan topped with more oil and sprinkled with italian seasoning. If you would like a detailed recipe for this leave me a comment and I will put one together.
Even though I specifically created this recipe to be wheat & dairy free there is no reason you can't use traditional pasta and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.
|Chop up all your veggies. I like to chop mine small enough that I get to enjoy all of the flavors in one bite.|
|Collect the rest of the ingredients. Note that my recipe calls for stock not broth. Broths are just watery in my opinion. I prefer the kitchen basics stocks, I think they have a much richer flavor than other brands.|
|In a large pot saute the pepperoni in a small amount of olive oil over medium high heat for about 5 minutes. The olive oil is just to get things going and not to scorch the pepperoni before it starts cooking. Do not over cook the pepperoni. This step is mainly to get as much oil out of the pepperoni as possible. If you think that the pepperoni needs to come out before 5 minutes, do it.|
|Remove pepperoni from the pot with a slotted spoon. Pour off all but 1 table of the pepperoni fat. Look at all that fat. My husband was shocked when he saw how much I poured off. Not all pepperoni has the same fat content so you might have less then I did however it is best to do this anyway. Fat + soup = not good.|
|Be sure to leave behind, or add back, the 1 tablespoon of pepperoni fat to cook the veggies in. A good amount of the flavor comes from this.|
|Add the onion, green & red bell peppers, zucchini and black pepper to the pot. Over medium high heat saute the vegetables in the pepperoni fat for 5 minutes.|
|Add the garlic, crushed red pepper and oregano. Saute for 2 minutes. Do not brown the garlic it can become bitter.|
|Add the tomatoes, chicken stock and pasta. Cover and cook for about 8 min or whatever your pasta's cooking time is.|
|I had to show you this. It's an Ulu chopping set. My in-laws brought this back for me from a trip they took to Alaska. I think I was told that it is used for something with fish. I don't care for fish but have found that it works great for chopping herbs. Isn't it nifty?|
|The blade is super sharp and does a great job chopping the herbs and not bruising them. Of course any cutting board and knife would work for chopping herbs. I find herbs stain and I like having a dedicated board for this.|
|Since the pepperoni has a ton of salt and the chicken stock I use has salt I don't add salt to this recipe. After the pasta is done cooking I always taste to see if salt is needed then add salt to taste.|
|Turn off heat and stir in the the chopped basil and parsley and serve.|
Pepperoni Pizza Soup (D/F & W/F)
by Darla Quail
1 tsp of olive oil
1/2 of a large stick of pepperoni, cubed (quartered lengthwise then chopped)
1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 small zucchini, diced
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 16oz can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
4 c chicken stock (= 32 oz carton)
8 oz dried rice pasta (anything should work, I have even broken up lasagna noodles)
small handful of fresh parsley (I have used 1 tsp dried in a pinch but fresh is always better)
small handful of fresh basil (I have used 1/2 tsp dried in a pinch but fresh is always better)
In a large pot saute the pepperoni in olive oil over medium high heat for about 5 min. Remove pepperoni from the pot with a slotted spoon. Pour off all but 1 table of the pepperoni fat. Add the onion, green & red bell peppers, zucchini and black pepper to the pot. Over medium high heat saute the vegetables in the pepperoni fat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, crushed red pepper and oregano. Saute for 2 minutes (do not brown the garlic). Add the tomatoes, chicken stock and pasta. Cover and cook for about 8 min or whatever your pasta's cooking time is. Taste to see if salt is needed then add salt to taste. Turn off heat and add the chopped basil, parsley and serve.
If you are one of the lucky ones who can enjoy dairy this soup is great with parmesan cheese or an italian cheese blend sprinkled on top.
I really hope you enjoy this soup as much as we do.
Thanks for stopping by the nest!