Inspired by a short trek to dinner one weekday, walking by pizza joint after pizza joint through Philadelphia's Kensington district. Our trio was split between wanting to creatively cook up a unique soup, and make something repetitive and easy. That's when the words spilled from my lips: Pizza Soup.
At the time, I didn't even know this concept had been tackled before, not just on food blogs, but in film.
I had to say the phrase over and over to myself, convincing my companions that it was doable. Pizza Soup. What's the base? How do toppings work? Isn't it just an oily, greasy mess? Pizza sauce, they go inside the soup base and on top like French Onion soup, and yes.
First, you need a good base:
Kevin Spicy's Family Recipe "Pizza Sauce" Ingredients
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 shallots
- 24 oz (2 12 oz cans) tomato paste
- 24 oz vegetable stock
- 2 Tbsp fresh oregano
- 1 tsp fennel
- 3/4 cup fresh parsley
- 2 Tbsp fresh thyme
- 1 Tbsp rosemary
- 3/4 cup fresh basil
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp red pepper flake
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp milk chocolate
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to a large pot set at medium-high
- Dice and saute shallots
- Add tomato paste and 24 oz of vegetable stock
- Stir while cooking until smooth
- Add everything else
- Simmer on low for 1 hour, stir occasionally
Going from sauce to soup base is easy! Just add more vegetable stock to the sauce as needed to bring to desired consistency. You want something that's a little thinner than pizza sauce, but not too thin. We ended up using somewhere between 2-3 cups of added vegetable stock.
Pizza Soup Assembly
You'll need a few of these soup crocks that are generally used for French Onion Soup. You can buy them from Amazon, but you'll almost always find at least a few of them at your local thrift store.
Then, you'll need some pizza toppings
- 12 oz. of cubed then roughly chopped Pepperoni
- (with about 12 slices set aside for garnish)
- 8 oz. cubed then roughly chopped spicy sopressata
- 1 1/4lbs Managers Special sausage (we grabbed whatever was on sale, it happened to lack fennel)
- 1 fresh basil leaf per serving
- 1 1/2 cups Mozzarella after shredding (make America grate again!)
- 1/2 cup shredded provolone, or finely cut slices
- 1 baguette (or any bread that can be toasted and cut into 2" rounds)
Brown and Ivory Porcelain Soup Crock Bowl
- Remove casings from soft sausage
- Crumble into oiled pan and cook at medium high until browning
- Add cubed pepperoni and sopressata
- Cook entire mixture until pepperoni and sopressata begin rendering down and releasing oils
- Add entire meat mixture, rendered out oils included, to the sauce pot
- Cover and simmer for 10 minutes while you prepare crocks
- Preheat oven to broil (500ºF+ on the top only)
- Cut baguette into 1" thick rounds and toast.
- Make sure the mozzarella is shredded and the provolone, if you're not shredding it, is sliced and cut thinly. Mix the cheeses together evenly.
- Arrange baguette rounds in bottom of crock. The amount of bread depends on your preferred bread:soup ratio, but we wanted to cover the bottom of the bowl so we used 3 small rounds.
- Ladle soup into crocks, just over 3/4 full and place on a sturdy baking sheet (for easy handling)
- Cover surface of soup with shredded mozzarella and provolone cheese. Add pepperoni slices and arrange
- Broil crocks on top rack until cheese is just beginning to boil and brown
- Remove crocks from oven, add basil leaf for garnish