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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Creamy Italian Sausage and Potato Soup

Welcome to Soup Month 2013

Today begins an exciting month for our family, because October 1st marks is the start of our 4th annual Soup Month.  For the entire month of October, each day we will bring you a new soup, stew, chili, or chowder recipe, and there will be something for everyone.  My kids take part in the fun, too, by helping choose the types of soups they want to try, especially a few "Halloween" recipes that you won't want to miss.

We've got quite a variety of soups in store for you including hearty, vegetable packed chowders, creamy and elegant soups for your upcoming holiday dinners, and healthy high-fiber bean soups. It's going to be an excited month and I hope you visit each day to check out the new recipes. 

For our first day of Soup Month 2013, we start with a creamy Italian sausage soup.  Even though weeknights can be crazy busy for many families, it's still possible to get a warm bowl of soup on the table in a short amount of time.

This hearty Italian Sausage and Potato Soup makes a great one-pot meal on a cold winter night, and it only requires a few ingredients.  The Italian sausage (choose from mild or hot, depending on your preference), is cut into bite-sized pieces and then browned along with onions, garlic and potatoes, and the flavored broth adds most of the seasonings needed. The College Inn broth is something I really enjoy using.  With a mild white wine and herb base, this broth gives the soup a great depth of flavor without a very long cooking time.  From there, the only thing left to do is adjust the salt and pepper according to your taste.  Super easy and convenient.

The soup is finished with a bit of heavy cream, to add a rich flavor to the broth, and a generous amount of fresh spinach.  For a little extra thickness, I pureed some of the cooked potatoes and it really added a nice texture to the soup.

If you prefer some extra spice in your soup, add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes to the finished soup and Enjoy!!

2 tsp  Olive Oil
5  Italian Sausage Links, mild or hot, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small  Yellow Onion, finely chopped
1 TB  Minced Garlic
6 medium  Potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
32 oz  College Inn White Wine and Herb Broth
6 oz  Fresh Spinach, stems removed
1/2 cup  Heavy Cream
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, for garnish

In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add the sausage and cook until browned, about 8 minutes.

Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring to brown the vegetables.

Add the potatoes and broth to the pot and bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are just tender.

Remove 1-1/2 cups of potatoes from the pot, along with about 1 cup of broth.  Puree this mixture and set aside.

Add the spinach and cream to the pot and stir to combine.  Once the spinach has cooked down and wilted, add the pureed potatoes back to the pot and stir.  Season with salt and pepper to taste then cook 5 minutes longer over medium-low heat.

Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.

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