Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fork and Spoon: Joe's Pizza Soup

My youngest, Joe, is the jovial joker of the bunch. He's the kid with the belly laugh, the impish sidewise glance, the silly idea.

The other night when I asked the kids what they wanted for supper he smiled broadly and said, "why don't you make us some....PIZZA SOUP! BahahahaHA!"

Okay, so in general I don't endorse being dishonest with kids. Pizza soup isn't anything new. But he was so amused with himself for thinking the idea up and I just wasn't in the mood to squash the laughter out of that little boy soul.

When I told him I wasn't exactly sure how to make pizza soup, he said, "Mama, will you just go in the kitchen and invent some for me please?"

You just don't say no to that. It's in the Mama Rule Book.

I did a quick hunt for recipes online, but I was pretty unimpressed with most of them. Some started with a jar of spaghetti sauce, but I find most brands so sugary sweet they are odd tasting to me, and I don't buy the stuff. Some recipes had topped bowls with italian bread toasted, covered with cheese and broiled, like french onion soup. I'm sure it's yummy, but I'm far too lazy to fuss around that much with a soup recipe. On the other hand, recipes that called for adding crumbled Italian sausage to a couple cans of heat-and-serve tomato soup? Okay, I'm lazy, but I'm not THAT lazy. I like to FEEL like I'm trying. A little. I have an ego to maintain too.

So I started up the basics to any soup: an onion and some garlic in olive oil

Then I assembled some other likely suspects for pizza soup:

I threw in:
1 32 oz. carton of (low sodium) chicken broth
1 14 oz. can tomato sauce
1 14 oz. can Muir Glen fire roasted diced tomatoes (and the juice)
A couple tablespoons of pizza spice. I used Tone's brand, but it could also be any combo of pizza goodies--basil, oregano, stuff like that.

I brought it to a simmer, and then tossed in about half the box of cellentani. Rotini would be good. Noah later said "and cheese tortellini would be like stuffed crust pizza soup." Not a bad idea for next time! I added a cup of water to compensate for the liquid the noodles would absorb cooking.

While the pasta was simmering I chopped up a green pepper and four or five mushrooms. I added these at the end because these were veggies I didn't want boiled to death:

I also added about 1/2 to 1 cup mini pepperonis. We topped the bowls of soup with mozzarella cheese and chopped green onion.

Though it needs a warning label (cheesy, buttery goodness, oh my!), we also made this cheesy bread on the Simply Recipes site.

The kids really, really liked the soup. As in "make it again" liked it. It's made of simple stuff and came together in about half an hour, important on week nights. It's certainly flexible, just like pizza toppings.

Not bad for something that started with this inspiration:

And ended up here:

I hope Joe invents some more supper ideas soon, with a big side order of that smile.


  1. I tried this out on my family tonight. Everyone like it here too, even my picky eater. He would not admit to actually liking it, but said he'd eat it again. What more could I ask for? :)

  2. I had never heard of pizza soup--but this looks like something even my picky eaters would eat. And I might actually cook. :-)