Monday, May 9, 2011

Tuscan Sausage-'n-Potato Soup

Hi, again!

I know it’s been a long time since I posted, but honestly, I had a really good reason for it.

I spent the last month-and-a-half making an heirloom Baptismal dress for our precious little great-grandson, Master Jackson Christopher Bentley, who was born and who resides in England. Fortunately, the family loved it, so I'm jazzed about that! There will be pictures on pretty soon, so if you're interested, by all means take a look and leave a comment! I’d love it if you’d follow me here, too.

I promised my daughters to post the recipe for this soup, because they really love it, so here goes. I promise that immediately I'm finished with this one, I'll post the first of the "surprise salads" recipes. You have my word on it.

Okay. You'll need:

1 package (5 links) of Italian Hot Sausage
4 cans of cream of potato soup
4 or 5 large potatoes, (the floury kind not the waxy ones)
2 cans evaporated milk
¼ lb. bacon
I very large or 2 large white onions
1 package frozen chopped spinach OR
1 # fresh young spinach
¼ tsp red pepper flakes or to taste (remember the sausage is hot)
Chicken stock as needed

Slice sausages into 1” coins and reserve. Peel, wash and finely dice onion. Reserve. Cut bacon into 1” slices and render slowly in a heavy pan or Dutch Oven over medium heat to remove all fat. Cool and crumble bacon. Reserve the bacon and the bacon fat in separate bowls. If you’re using fresh spinach, pick over the leaves of the fresh and remove severely wilted, discolored, slick or bruised portions. Wash carefully under running water and shake or spin dry. Cut fresh spinach into 1” squares. For frozen spinach, just open the package. Reserve. Peel, wash and cut (into ½” dice) the potatoes. Boil them in enough water to cover until they are cooked.

In the Dutch Oven, sauté the sausage coins until well done. Reserve. Using 2 Tbsps of the reserved bacon fat, sweat the onion until it’s transparent, then sauté the fresh or frozen spinach over medium-high heat right on top of the onion, until it is totally wilted and cooked through. Reserve the scrapings from the bottom of the pan unless they are burned. These add a wonderful depth to the dish. Add the ¼ tsp red pepper flakes. Combine well, cooking for another minute or two. Add the contents of the four cans of potato soup, the boiled potatoes and their water, and the two cans of evaporated milk. Combine well and let simmer for about five minutes. Add the sausage, the crumbled bacon, and the cooked spinach.

If the soup is too thick, thin it with chicken stock or water. Season sparingly to taste with salt and black pepper. Let it all simmer together while you warm the big, crusty slabs of garlic bread and toss the fresh salad you’re serving with this wonderful soup.

All you need now is a terrific dessert and a good appetite! Enjoy!

PS: Diced roasted red peppers are delicious in this dish. Add them to the soup after it's plated up. Go easy with until you're sure you like it. Fresh escarole substitutes well for the spinach, too.

Okay, there you are! Let me know what you think, won't you? Your comments help me offer recipes along the lines of things my followers enjoy. Thanks!

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