I’ve had to be off gluten and dairy for more than two years, and I miss pizza. I’ve tried all the recipes (yes, even the cauliflower crust), but a gluten-free, dairy-free pizza is like a 2-legged horse. You can remove one or the other, but not both. I developed this gluten-free, dairy-free pizza soup out of desperation, and it is SO. GOOD. If you have food allergies, this could be what you are looking for to replace pizza. The only major allergen group in this recipe is nightshades, and there really isn’t a way around that.
We had a Friday night homemade pizza tradition for years, and I miss it. I LOVE pizza (have I said that already?). I have always loved pizza. It could be my perfect food, and as favorites go, it ranks right up there with sushi. Pizza is so versatile and can be changed to fit any taste preference or mood. The options are endless. This soup really satisfies my pizza craving better than any of the gluten free/dairy free pizza options I’ve tried, homemade or otherwise. It has all the flavors I’m looking for, and my kids absolutely love it.
This is a huge batch of soup, but we’re a family of eight big eaters, so that’s how we roll. It’s easy enough to scale down, and it freezes beautifully if you like to do batch cooking for freezer meals. Feel free to alter the ingredients according to your favorite pizza toppings. I like to put some pepperoni under the broiler for a quick sec to crisp them up and put them on my bowl. If you love Italian sausage, add some ground fennel seed. Pile on olives if you like. If you can tolerate cheese, sprinkle it on top. Diced mushrooms are excellent in this. I happen to love banana peppers on my pizza, and naturally fermented banana peppers sprinkled on top is a great way to get your probiotics in. You can also make the base soup and have a toppings bar so everyone can personalize.
And now, for the piece de resistance. My favorite delivery pizza was Papa John’s, mostly because I loved the garlic butter sauce. Add some ghee or butter to your bowl, and just a little extra garlic, and it will take you back to those pizza delivery days.
This recipe is also perfect for paleo, Whole30, GAPS and other clean-eating diets.
TIP: Since I’m the only one in the family who can’t eat pizza (actually, as I explain to my children, I CHOOSE not to eat pizza because it makes me feel so sick, and I don’t like feeling that way), I make this big batch and freeze several portions in quart size bags so when they have pizza, I can defrost my serving and not be tempted to eat theirs and regret it for the next day or two.
4 pounds ground beef or pork (ground pork is less expensive and is what Italian sausage is made from, so that is what we use). You can also use ground turkey for a lower calorie/fat option
4 cans organic tomato sauce
4 cans organic diced tomatoes
2 green peppers, diced
1 onion, diced
chopped garlic to taste (I use a lot because I love it, 8+ cloves)
¼ c dried basil
2 tbsp dried thyme
3 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp dried marjoram
2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1-2 beef soup bones if desired
6 cups water
Ghee or butter (most people who can’t tolerate dairy are fine with ghee because the milk solids are separated)
Fresh garlic, minced
In an 8-quart Dutch oven, brown the ground beef and onions with salt and pepper or garlic salt and pepper. It’s important to season the meat while it’s cooking and not just season the soup because the meat will taste bland. If you want it to taste like Italian sausage, add those seasonings while browning the meat. It’s a small step that makes a huge difference.
When the meat and onions are about halfway done, add the green peppers. Once the beef is cooked and the onions are starting to turn translucent, add the garlic. After about a minute add some of the tomato sauce to keep the garlic from burning. Add the rest of tomato products and the water to desired consistency. If using, add the beef soup bones, and let simmer for a few hours and let some of the liquid cook down. The soup bones is my cheater way of making a light beef broth when I don’t have any. You can substitute two cups of water for a can of beef broth instead.
I listed the measurements of the seasonings according to how we like it, but you may like less or more, so adjust to taste. If possible, allow to simmer for at least an hour to combine the flavors. It’s even better the next day! Serve with a dab of butter or ghee and a sprinkle of minced garlic for the garlic butter flavor.