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Supreme Pizza Soup

Supreme Pizza Soup | www.girlichef.com
I've been staring at a blank screen for close to an hour. I can't find the words. The older I get, the more I realize how fragile life is. How one day you can be laughing and joking and loving and making plans, and then not wake up the following day. Or worse, you can get caught up in the stress and frustration that sometimes seems to pile up - you can be grouchy and angry and fed-up and take it out on those you love. And not wake up the next day.

Tears are streaming down my cheeks at the thought of either scenario. But, why, you wonder? Why am I thinking out loud about this when you expected to hear about soup?

It's because I'm trying to find a way to put the way I feel about having known Elle. Elle (Lee Ann) from Elle's New England Kitchen passed away suddenly a week and a half ago. I was in a state of shock, disbelief, sadness, and fear all at once. How could this young, spunky, kind, snarky, hilarious woman whom I'd known through the world of food blogging since 2009 just be gone?

Supreme Pizza Soup for #ElleAPalooza | www.girlichef.com
my ode to (and re-creation of) Elle's wit
I started thinking back, trying to remember how we met. And I couldn't. It may have been through a baking or cooking group. It may have just been that one of us stumbled across the other's blog five years ago. That happened then. There weren't as many food blogs back then as there are today. I can still remember a very solid core group of people who got their start blogging in the years '08 and '09.

The harder I tried to pinpoint a precise "Elle" moment, the stupider I felt. I don't have one. I can't come up with one. We weren't close friends, but we were friends through blogging. We were friends on Facebook. We participated in challenged together from time to time over the years. But ultimately, it was the universal language that brought us together - FOOD!
Supreme Pizza Soup | www.girlichef.com
I am sharing this post as a part of a weekend tribute to Elle: #ElleAPalooza. Watch for stories, memories, and recipes all inspired by and dedicated to our friend Elle.

Though there are many things that I would have enjoyed making from Elle's repertoire today, what I decided on was a bowl of perfection. The flavors of a Supreme pizza, but in the form of soup. That's so Elle. And it's so ridiculously tasty. Plus, the whole family loved it. That means that from time to time, I will put a pot of this soup on to boil, slide some dough into the oven, and fill my kitchen with a scent that will put a smile in my heart as I remember Elle.

Supreme Pizza Soup
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Supreme Pizza Soup | www.girlichef.com

by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30-40 minutes
Keywords: simmer entree soup/stew nut-free soy-free sugar-free mushrooms sausage tomatoes American

Ingredients (serves 8-10)
  • 1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage (or hot or mild)
  • 1-1/4 ounces pepperoni slices, cut into quarters or halves (or use mini pepperoni slices)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 2 medium bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and diced (any color)
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons tubed Italian Herb paste (or 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped (or equivalent tubed basil paste or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 (26 ounce) box Pomi chopped tomatoes (or equivalent of other diced tomatoes)
  • 16 ounces (2 cups) Pizza sauce (homemade or store-bought)
  • 2 quarts chicken broth or stock
  • 4 ounces (~2/3 cup) alphabet noodles (or other small noodles)
  • black pepper, as needed
to serve:
  • shredded Italian Cheese blend
  • Parmesan
  • crushed red chiles
  • Pizza Dough Breadsticks
Instructions
Brown and cook sausage in a large pot over medium heat until done, ~7 minutes. Add pepperoni and cook for another 2 minutes. Add garlic, onion, bell peppers, and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Stir in herbs and cook for another 30 seconds.
Supreme Pizza Soup | www.girlichef.com
Add chopped (or diced) tomatoes, pizza sauce, and the broth to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then add the noodles. Simmer gently until noodles are al dente, 7-9 minutes (or according to package directions). Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed (you may not need salt and pepper, so don't add any until you've tasted it; remember, the sausage, pepperoni, broth, and pizza sauce are already seasoned).

Serve with as much shredded cheese on top as you like, and pizza dough breadsticks on the side. Set a shaker of Parmesan and a shaker of red chile flakes on the table for people to shake on as they wish!

Refrigerate any leftovers in a container with a lid. It tastes even better the second or third day.

to make Pizza Dough Breadsticks:
Roll out a pound (or so) of your favorite pizza dough. Cut into strips and line up on a baking tray. Cook until done. Amount will vary. I rolled out a one pound ball of dough to the size of a medium pizza (or so), cut in down the center, and then into strips.

You could use homemade bread dough, however, if you don't have time to make a batch (or just don't want to), there are a couple places that you could pick some up. Check the freezer section of your grocery store, near the frozen rolls and biscuits (you know, the kind that's uncooked, but frozen in individual portions). Lots of places have one-pound balls of pizza dough in that same area. Or you could try a local Italian deli or pizza place; we have one in our farmer's market that sells pizza dough in one-pound balls.

Supreme Pizza Soup | www.girlichef.com

A Friends of Elle page has been set up on Facebook where you can pay tribute to Elle, share links to the recipes you make, and also find links to donate to the family and the upcoming auction to benefit her family.

more #ElleAPalooza memories: