Tuesday, January 11, 2011

January 11: Italian Sub Stoup and Garlic Toast Floaters

1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 pound (3 links) hot or sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
1/4 pound piece pepperoni, diced
1 ham steak, 1/2 to 3/4 pound, diced
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, quartered, and sliced
1 medium yellow onion, quartered and sliced
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
   Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cups chicken stock or broth
1 cup gemelli pasta or other shaped pasta
4 cups arugula (2 bunches), trimmed and coarsely chopped
   Seasoned croutons

Place a soup pot on the stovetop and preheat to medium high. Add the EVOO and the sausage. Brown and crumble the sausage,

add the pepperoni and ham,

then drain off excess fat if necessary. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the bell peppers and onions and cook for 2 or 3 minutes more.

Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.

Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.

Stir in the pasta and cook for 8 minutes.

Stir the arugula into the stoup just before you serve it up.
Float several croutons in each bowl.


This soup (stoup) is very easy to make, so I like it for that reason. It also has a lot of flavor. It's really tasty, but it sure makes a lot. She claims it makes 4 servings, but I'm sure we'll be eating this for days.

Here's Rach's explanation of this stoup: "Thicker than soup, thinner than stew, this stoup combines sausage, ham, pepperoni, veggies, and arugula. It tastes like a giant Italian sub!"

I changed some things. She calls for 2 tablespoons olive oil, but I changed it to 1. When the meat has so much fat already, I can't justify wasting my expensive olive oil. I used a red onion instead of a yellow, so as to use up 2 halves I had stored in the refrigerator before they went bad. I used elbow macaroni, because I had some left from the Mac-n-cheese quartet. You could use spinach instead of arugula, and it would be just fine, but since I had some arugula left over from a different recipe, I had enough to use in this one. The main thing I changed though, was the Garlic Toast Floaters. I tried to make her recipe before, and either they didn't toast up right or else they burned. They got soggy fast in the soup, too, so I took the easy way and bought already-seasoned croutons. They were delicious.

I really like this soup, and it's great for a winter day.

Here's the recipe for the croutons:
1/4 cup EVOO
3 large garlic cloves, cracked from skins
5 cups crusty bread, cubed
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

While the pasta cooks, heat the 1/4 cup of EVOO in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the bread cubes, toss and toast the cubes for 5 or 6 minutes. Season the toasty cubes with the red pepper flakes, oregano, and grated cheese.

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