My college apartment happened to be directly across the street from the local pizzeria, Papa V’s, and I definitely consumed my fair share of the good stuff in my 3.5 years of schooling. I was such a regular that they made me a free pizza Friday nights before closing, which the owner’s son would hand deliver to my apartment door. Probably didn’t hurt that I worked my flirty eye mojo on him more than a few times. Small college town, good people, great food. Yup, those were the days.
Papa V’s pizza was good, but their cheesesteaks were ding-dang good. Cooked to order strips of sirloin, provolone cheese, sauteed mushrooms and peppers, all tucked into a freshly baked NY style pizza crust roll. Yeah, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.
This soup totally reminds me of those sammies. Perfectly seasoned broth with tender pieces of sirloin and slightly caramelized onions, topped with homemade croutons, melted provolone, sauteed red and green bell peppers. It’s like a bowl full of good time nostalgia, and absolutely perfect for a chilly winter weekend.
Philly Cheesesteak Soup
(makes 4 – 6 servings)
2 1/2 lbs beef sirloin or ribeye (trimmed of extra fat and cut into bite-sized cubes)
4 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp olive oil
1 sweet white onion (sliced thin)
2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
6 cups reduced sodium beef broth
1 tsp espresso powder
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 oz dried mixed mushrooms
Salt & pepper to taste
6 slices provolone cheese
Small loaf of crusty french bread (cut into bite-sized cubes, spread on a sheet pan to dry out a bit)
2 tbsp fresh parsley (finely chopped)
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
To make the soup, melt the butter with the olive oil in a heavy bottom sauce pan or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onion and saute until soft and slightly caramelized (around 15 minutes). Sprinkle the onions with a bit of salt, add the garlic and beef and saute until the meat is lightly browned, occasionally scraping the delicious browned goodness from the bottom of the pan. Add the dried mushrooms, espresso powder and Worcestershire sauce and stir to coat, then pour in the beef stock, cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 30 to 45 minutes. Season to taste with additional salt & pepper if desired.
While the soup is simmering, make the french bread croutons and sauteed peppers for topping.
For the croutons, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, toss the dried, cubed bread with the olive oil, chopped parsley and a sprinkle or two of salt, then spread them in a single layer on the prepared sheet pan.
To cook the peppers, chop both the red and green into small bite-sized pieces…
To serve, ladle a good portion of soup into each bowl…
toss in a handful of homemade croutons, slap on a slice of provolone and broil them on a sheet pan for just a few minutes to melt the cheese. Top the melted cheese with a spoonful of sauteed peppers.
Yup. This is some seriously. Good. Soup. Folks.