“Pizza Soup”

I’ve actually made (and posted, on my other blog) several versions of this chicken and vegetable soup.  I’ve typically called it a Tuscan bean soup, or something similar.  But last night as I cooked I realized it smelled just like a pizza.  Okay, a nice healthy pizza without a ton of cheese.  Or bread.  But this soup evokes pizza to me, nonetheless.  And now I can’t get that name out of my head.  I can just imagine the name going down in family history and my future kids asking for pizza soup…  And it’s much more fun to say!

Anyway, this is an incredibly easy soup to make, and it’s very filling, comforting, and flavorful.  You can always add to it, too – zucchini would be nice, and potatoes, rice, or gluten free pasta – or take out something you don’t like (or can’t tolerate).

This recipe makes enough for 6-8 servings, but even though there are only two of us I like making this much.  None of the ingredients have textural issues with freezing, the soup is even better the next day or the next week, and I like having leftovers!  Plus the proportions are so easy to remember, and so perfect to measure.

Pizza Soup!

Elisa’s Pizza Soup

  • 8 cups (2 cartons) chicken stock or broth (be sure yours is gluten free, and I like to use the chicken-i-est one I can find with the least salt)
  • 1/2 pound white or yellow onion, chopped or sliced (about 1/2 of a large onion)
  • 1/4 pound white or brown mushrooms, chopped
  • 6-10 cloves garlic, chopped (I used 5 fresh and 5 roasted)
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dry thyme (or 1/2 tsp fresh thyme)
  • 1/2 pound cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 pound (2-3 links) Italian sausage, cut into bite-sized pieces (sweet or hot; I like Trader Joe’s sweet chicken Italian sausage, but you can use any GF sausage you like)
  • 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large handful kale, torn or chopped (this is the only thing I don’t have a great measurement for, but kale doesn’t shrink up like spinach does when it’s cooking, so you’ll be able to tell when you put it into the pot if you need more!  Also… I’m obsessed with kale.  So when I have it I add twice as much!)
  • juice from 1/2 of a lemon
  • parmesan cheese, for sprinkling

There is almost no work to this soup, once you’ve cut up all the bits and pieces.

Simply toss the onion, garlic, and mushrooms into a pot, add the broth and seasonings, and simmer on low (only small bubbles, if any!) until the onion has started to turn translucent.  I still like a little texture in my vegetables, so I don’t cook them more than 5 or 6 minutes after the pot gets up to temperature.  Once the onion and mushrooms are partially cooked, add the sausage, tomatoes, and kale.  Once the tomatoes begin to split and burst (just another few minutes), add the beans and lemon juice.  Cook another minute or two, to warm the beans through, and serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

The best part of this meal?  It’s not overtly gluten free.  Even if you add a gluten-free carb (not necessary, but sometimes nice), this isn’t one of those “I’m substituting the gluten in this meal with cardboard and you can all tell” kind of dinners…  It’s just a nice soup.  Which is perfect for these cold (yes, cold – we’ve had frost the last three mornings! In San Diego!) winter nights!

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