Italian Sausage & Potato Soup

Italian Sausage & Potato Soup  – Tonight I pulled some Italian sausage out to defrost without really knowing what I planned to make. I just started cooking the first few steps below and then decided to go with the soup dish. My mom had actually just mentioned the Italian Wedding Soup from Olive Garden early today so I suppose that is kind of where the idea originated.

I first browned some diced bacon while I boiled some diced new potatoes. I then removed the bacon from the pan and added a little olive oil to the pan. I dropped in 1/3 of the boiled new potatoes and cooked them flipping occassionally until they were nice and crispy. I removed them from the pan to drain on paper towels and added the Italian sausage to the same pan to brown. In the meantime, I cooked some thinly sliced onions in a stock pot with some diced celery. I added some salt and pepper and cooked until the onions were nice and soft. I then added 3 cups of milk and two bay leaves to the onions and celery and brought it to a soft boil. I added the boiled new potatoes that were not fried to the soup and heated through. I then put two tablespoons of flour into a little bowl and added some of the hot milk from my pot to create a little slurry. see also : Vegetable soup recipe ( Souper Dooper )

I added the slurry to the soup pot and stirred to thicken. Once the liquid had thickened slighty, I added in the Italian sausage and bacon. I added some chopped fresh baby spinach. I also added some fresh thyme and parsley. When the spinach wilted a little, I tasted and seasoned the soup with a little more with salt and pepper. I had also chopped up some chicago style bread, tossed the diced pieces in some olive oil and added Italian seasoning. I threw them in a 350 degree oven for a few minutes to toast up while the soup was finishing. I served the soup in shallow bowls garnishing with the fried potatoes,toasted croutons, and a sprig of parsley. see also : Sweet Potato & Orange Soup recipe

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