1 quart homemade chicken stock (water can be substituted)
3 T. beef base
2 cans (14 oz. each) canned marinara sauce
2 C. canned tomato juice
2 T. dried oregano
3/4 t. dried basil
3/4 t. black pepper
3/4 t. crushed red pepper
3/4 t. sugar
3/4 t. dried thyme
10 oz. thinly sliced mushrooms
1 C. diced green bell pepper
1 C. diced diced onions
1 to 2 T. oil blend (use 25% olive oil, 75% vegetable oil)
1 1/4 lbs. bulk Italian sausage
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter
3/4 C. flour
Shredded Mozzarella cheese for garnish
Toasted pita triangles (see recipe)
Make toasted pita triangles and set aside.
In large stockpot, bring stock, base, marinara sauce, tomato juice and all spices to boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes.
In a separate pan, saute mushrooms, bell pepper and onions in oil blend until vegetables are just tender. Add vegetables and any liquid to stock mixture.
In a small frying pan, cook sausage in a few tablespoons water. When sausage is cooked drain well and add to stock. Increase soup to a boil.
In a separate pot melt butter. Slowly mix in flour, whisking constantly to form a roux. Slowly add to boiling soup, making sure to stir well so that there are no lumps. Cook an additional five minutes then remove from heat. Pour into serving bowls and top each serving with cheese and/or one toasted pita triangle.
Makes about 1 gallon soup or about 16 side dish servings.
1 (6-inch) pita bread
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut pita round into 8 wedges like slices of pizza. Open each wedge and tear in half to make 16 pieces. Set pieces on baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with cheese. Bake in preheated oven 6 to 8 minutes or until cheese is melted and pita sections are crispy. Remove from cookie sheets and let cool.