Pizza Soup! (Take 1)

November 10th, 2010 1:58 pm by Kelly Garbato

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Close on the heels of my Loaded Canadian Pizza Style Baked Potatoes, I decided to try something similar with soup. In other words, Pizza Soup! (I’m all about pizza lately!) Initially I considered cannibalizing a few of the many tomato, minestrone and/or pizza-esque soup recipes available on the intewebs, but Google turned up so many results that my head near e’sploded. Instead, I used my favorite, tried and true soup recipe – “Spicy” Three Bean Soup – as a jumping-off point (mainly for the base), incorporating some elements from the baked ‘taters into the mix (i.e., the fried tomatoes, mushrooms and olives).

All in all, this is a rather decent dish that could – imho – use some refining. (Trial and error, baby!) This particular concoction is, believe it or not, a little too tomato-y for my tastes; next time around, I think I’ll omit the sundried tomatoes altogether. Also, because I made this while Shane was in the midst of a liquid diet (he’d had a root canal a few days prior), I decided to run the canned tomatoes, mushrooms and olives through a food processor and stay away from mixed veggies altogether. Yay on the former, nay on the latter. Take 2 will have a cup of carrots, methinks. Finally: more orzo. At least two cups, maybe three.

Oh, and come to think of it, maybe I’ll fry up the Smart Pepperoni with the tomato/mushroom/olive mixture. My thinking was that I’d prefer it be crispy, so I should add it last, as a garnish; but unless you eat it asap, it sogs up anyway. Probably it makes a better seasoning than a decoration. Thoughts?

Pizza Soup, Take 1

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Ingredients

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 ounces canned black olives
4 ounces canned mushrooms
14 ounces canned tomatoes

46 fl. oz. vegetable juice
3 cups vegetable bouillon
3 cups water
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup sundried tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon parsley
2 teaspoons garlic powder
3.5 teaspoons basil
2 teaspoons oregano
1 cup small pasta (e.g., orzo)
3/4 cup mozzarella Follow Your Heart (or the vegan cheese of your choice; OPTIONAL: omit the cheese and use nutritional yeast instead!)

Lightlife Smart Pepperoni or Smart Bacon to garnish

Directions

1. In a large skillet or frying pan, heat 4 tablespoons olive oil on high. Turn the heat to medium and add 2 tablespoons minced garlic. Cook until the garlic is a golden brown color.

2. In a food processor, chop the black olives, mushrooms and tomatoes (in turn) until each is finely diced. Add to skillet and cook on medium, stirring occasionally, until much of the liquid has evaporated (about 30 minutes). Set aside.

3. In a large pot, combine the vegetable juice, vegetable bouillon, water, olive oil and minced garlic. If using bouillon cubes, bring to a low roil, whisking the mix until the bouillon cubes have broken down. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the sundried tomatoes, tomato/mushroom/olive mixture, and spices to taste.

4. Cook, covered on medium until the sundried tomatoes are the desired consistency. Add the orzo (and extra water, if necessary) and continue to cook on medium until the pasta is nearly done.

5. Toss in the vegan cheese and cook on medium-low, stirring every few minutes, until the cheese has melted.

6. Garnish with Smart Pepperoni (browned to a crisp in a toaster oven) and/or a few shreds of vegan mozzarella. Serve with any of the following: fresh-baked bread, rolls, garlic sticks, tortilla chips or pita bread.

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