Six years old! I was amazed when I saw I had reached 1,000 followers a few months back, and the number keeps climbing. What a cool bunch of people you are, to follow my blog and read my recipes! Over the past 6 years I’ve posted 869 recipes and I still enjoy sharing my ideas. I’ve only accidentally repeated a recipe a couple of times.. My memory is perhaps not as strong as my creative streak!
So I wanted to post a stand-out recipe to celebrate the occasion. This wasn’t totally one of my ideas. I was trolling Pinterest one night and saw a pizza soup recipe. I saw there was pepperoni in the soup in the picture and wrinkled my nose. We’re not fans. But on second thought I wondered if I could add more meat to sort of tone down the pepperoni taste. Hmm.
We do love what they call “meat lovers pizza”, a pizza loaded with 3 or 4 different meats. I decided to give the soup a try adding ground beef and a ground Italian sausage to the pot. I had the beef, I’d pick up the sausage on my way home the next day. The soup had onion and green pepper as well. I’d use sweet bell pepper since I had two on hand. A yellow one and a red one would maybe give the soup a break from all the brown-ness of the meats.
I would further add sliced mushrooms, as the soup seemed to need something else. There were no potatoes or rice or pasta in the recipe to give the soup a carb lift. I added sliced mushrooms for a fungus lift. Or maybe that’s a fungal lift. No, let’s stick with fungus; the other sounds like a rash an athlete might have in damp places.
Strange reference aside, the soup sounded like a great supper on a cold winter night. It could simmer in the crockpot all day and scent the house. I fried the ground beef and sausage together in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. You could probably fry them separately if you wish. Just make sure the bits are good and browned in places for best flavor. And use salt and pepper. It’s always best to season as you go.
I added the pepperoni and decided I’d bought much too small a package. The recipe calls for 2 1/2 ounces and my package was 1.75 ounces. Not a huge difference but the little pieces seemed lost in the pot. I’d go with 4 ounces or more next time.
I added the beef and sausage to the crockpot when they were browned, reserving the drippings in my large skillet. I added the chopped onion, chopped peppers and sliced mushrooms to the skillet, added salt and pepper again and sautéed them until the onions were translucent.
I added the sautéed vegetables and mushrooms to the crockpot and realized I hadn’t put a liner in the crockpot. Drat. I usually forget to do it when I’m making a soup of some kind. Cleanup isn’t as rough as when making meats or stews, but I still like to use those liners when I remember them!
I added the beef broth and tomatoes to the crockpot and stirred.
Finally I added the seasonings, and you guessed it, stirred well.
Placing the lid on the crockpot I set the heat to high and set a timer for 1 hour. After that hour I turned the crockpot dial to low and let it simmer another 3 hours.
My castle soon smelled like pizza! I don’t know why I was surprised, but the surprise was immediately replaced by relief. This pizza soup might actually be a thing! It looked good and smelled good. The final judgement, taste, would come soon.
On my way home that day I’d picked up a package of cheesy bread at Papa Murphy’s. It was simply a pizza crust topped with cheese. I baked it according to directions then cut it into strips resembling breadsticks. We would have crust to dip into our pizza soup! We did have carbs, after all. You could of course omit the crust to stay lower calorie.
It was time for dinner, the soup was ready. I had taste tested the soup after 2 hours of cooking and added a little more salt. The pepper level was fine. I ladled the soup into bowls and garnished them with handfuls of mozzarella. I was generous. We needed stringy, melted cheesy goodness to really pull this pizza soup thing off.
And we did! Wow, it was fun to eat this soup. So much flavor, and all of it reminding us of pizza in every mouthful. Eating pizza with a spoon isn’t something you do every day but it totally worked. It was a rich and filling bowl of soup with the added pizza crust breadsticks. I’d say the pot would serve 8. We had plenty of leftovers for a couple more days of lunches. Add a side salad and you’d have a balanced meal.
Meat Lovers Pizza Soup
Your favorite pizza toppings in soup form, made in a crockpot.
- 1 lb Italian seasoned pork sausage
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 medium onion; chopped
- 2 sweet bell peppers; chopped (I used a red and a yellow pepper)
- 8 oz sliced mushrooms (I used white button ones)
- 2 1/2 oz pepperoni slices; cut into smaller pieces (I suggest doubling this amount)
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic (I used garlic powder)
- 3 cups beef broth
- 14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes
- salt and pepper to taste
- shredded Mozzarella for garnish
In same skillet, sauté onion, peppers and mushrooms for 4-5 minutes, until onions are translucent. Salt and pepper well. Transfer to crockpot.
Add beef broth and tomatoes to crockpot. Add seasonings and stir well.
Cover crockpot and cook for 1 hour on high. Turn heat to low and cook for 3 more hours. Taste test for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as desired.
Serve in bowls and top with shredded mozzarella.
Suggestions: feel free to add other toppings such as black olives or other cheeses. Serve with breadsticks (optional)
Adapted from Recipes That Crock