Supreme Pizza Soup with Pepperoni Cheese Toast
The great thing about Supreme Pizza Soup is you can customize it to your family’s preferences. If your kids don’t like Italian Sausage; use hamburger. If you don’t like peppers; leave them out. It is all up to you! As an added bonus, the Pepperoni Cheese Toast is divine!

Supreme Pizza Soup with Pepperoni Cheese Toast

5 ounces, mini pepperoni slices, divided (4-ounces in soup, 1-ounce in cheese toast)
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 pound mild Italian sausage
1 and 1/2 cups diced onions
1 and 1/2 cups diced peppers (I use a mixture of green, red, and yellow peppers)
8 ounces sliced baby Bella mushrooms
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 (14-ounce) jars Pizza Sauce (I use Prego pizza sauce)
2 and 1/2 cups water
1 (14-ounce )can petite diced tomatoes
5 ounces salad croutons (I use Olive Garden brand)
8 ounces shredded Italian cheese blend, divided between soup and toast
1 loaf Italian or French Bread or 1 boule rustic Italian bread
Garnish: Chopped parsley

Line a plate with paper towels. Pour 4 ounces of mini pepperoni on top of towels. Microwave 15 seconds then blot pepperoni grease with towels. Set aside. Reserve remaining 1-ounce pepperoni for Pepperoni Cheese Toast.

In a large stockpot over medium heat; heat oil until hot. Cook Italian sausage 3 minutes, breaking up sausage as it cooks. (If you use sausage links, remove skins before cooking.) Add onion, peppers, mushrooms, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until meat is done and onions are translucent. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add Pizza sauce. Add 2 cups water. Use remaining 1/2 cup water to clean out pizza sauce jars then add to soup. Add canned tomatoes. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer, covered, 30 minutes. While soup is simmering make Pepperoni Cheese Toast. 

To serve: Ladle soup into bowls. Top with Shredded Italian cheese blend, croutons, and parsley. Serve with Pepperoni Cheese Toast.

Pepperoni Cheese Toast

1 loaf Italian or French bread or 1 boule rustic Italian bread
Shredded Italian cheese blend
Italian seasoning
Garlic salt
Mini pepperoni
Chopped parsley

Cut bread into slices and toast on both sides. Sprinkle each slice with cheese and a pinch of Italian seasoning and a pinch of garlic salt. Top with mini pepperoni pieces. Broil until cheese melts and is brown in spots. Sprinkle with parsley. Enjoy!

Published in The News and Neighbor on January 20, 2021.

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