Hands down, this is our FAVORITE soup of all time! It comes complete with homemade croutons and plenty of meaty/garlic goodness.
Looks good, right? Oh, trust me! It is! This photo is “pre-croutons” so it gets even better! This recipe is an adaptation of Rachel Ray’s Italian Sub Stoup with Garlic Toast Floaters. We’ve changed a few things and omitted a few things to fit our family. That’s the great thing about cooking! You can take a basic recipe and make it completely your own!
So how do you make my version of this incredible pot of soupy delicious-ness? Start by chopping everything in advance! It’s a huge time saver. You’ll need to chop sausage, pepperoni, ham, onions, bell peppers and garlic.
After all that chopping is done, heat a bit of olive oil at the bottom of a large stock pot. When the oil is hot, crumble Italian Sausage and cook until brown. Add pepperoni and chunks of ham. Continue to brown for a few more minutes. Can I tell you a secret? I know it’s terrible, but I don’t drain the fat after I brown the meat. There usually isn’t that much and it’s a great flavor enhancer!
Add the onions and bell peppers and continue to cook for a few minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.
After a few minutes, add the garlic!
Now we’re ready for tomatoes! Use the liquid from the tomatoes to scrape up those lovely brown bits on the bottom of the pan. These are great flavor bites too! Season the tomato mix with plenty of salt, pepper, basil, oregano! Add the broth and bring the pot to a simmer. Once everything is bubbly, add half a box of Gemelli pasta. You can also use penne rigatoni, elbow or orecchiette. The pasta takes about 15 minutes to cook in the broth. It will be fairly thick.
While the pasta is cooking in the soup, chop up sourdough bread for the croutons.
In a separate pan, add oil, garlic and crushed red chile peppers.
Then when everything is brown and toasty, you put them on top of the soup! Delicious!
Here you go!
Italian Sub Soup
2 TBLS olive oil
One pkg (about 5 links) Italian Sausage, with casings removed. You can use either Sweet or Hot sausage. (I usually buy one pkg Hot and one pkg Sweet, then I use a combination of the two and freeze the others to use for soup next time!)
1 1/4 lb piece of pepperoni, cut into small dice
1 ham steak, 1/2 to 3/4 lb, diced (Left over ham works well too – you’ll need about 1 1/2 cups)
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, quartered and then diced to match the ham cubes.
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 boxes chicken broth (32 oz each)
1/2 of a 16 oz box of Gemelli pasta, uncooked. (Save the other half for next time you make soup!)
1 tsp of each: dried basil, dried oregano and dried thyme.
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 cup of Olive Oil
4 large cloves of garlic, finely minced
2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
5 cups crusty bread, cubed (Our favorite is Sourdough, but French or Italian Bread works well too!)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Heat a large soup pot to medium high. Drizzle the olive oil around the bottom of the pan and toss in the sausage. Brown and crumble the sausage. When it’s brown, add pepperoni and ham. Cook for a few minutes, then add your veggies. Cook until the veggies just start to get soft. Add the garlic and continue to cook for about a minute longer. Add the tomatoes and use the juices to scrape up the browned meaty bits on the bottom of the pot. Season the tomato/veggie/meat mix with seasonings and salt and pepper. Stir well, then add chicken broth. Bring the soup to a boil. Stir in the pasta and cook for 10 minutes.
While the pasta cooks in the soup, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and cook for one minute. Regulate the heat carefully so the garlic doesn’t burn. Add the bread cubes, toss to coat and continue stirring and toasting them for about five minutes. Season the croutons with grated parmesan.
Ladle soup into big bowls and top with seasoned croutons! This recipe makes a lot, so serve it with friends and a great bottle of wine!
The soup tastes even better the next day, but the pasta will swell, so you might need to add additional broth to thin it out a little.