Potato and Italian Sausage Soup

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8 to 10 medium cleaned  Idaho potatoes with skin on and cubed
2 lbs of mild Italian sausage, not links
3 ribs of celery, sliced length wise then diced
2 scallions (only) diced
1 large tablespoon of chopped garlic
1 quart of half & half
1 large can of Swanson chicken broth
1 half package of Real Bacon Bits (only) its real bacon chopped up in bits
1 package of cleaned and dried fresh spinach
1 container of fresh grated parmesan cheese( fresh kind only)
1/4  to 1/2 cup of Wonder thickening flour
1 teaspoon or 2 nice shakes of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of sea salt
6 cups of water




The key to this recipe is following the tips and techniques below:

Begin by placing meat in a large frying pan (with lid) on med high heat and do not break up meat while browning, after about 5 to 7 minutes turn meat over and brown other side , now you can begin breaking up meat with wooden spoon or spatula, this technique will allow meat to have nice size pieces in the soup, browning of meat makes flavor better.

Mean while in a large soup pot begin to sauté shallots, celery, and bacon bits, and garlic with a little bit of the drippings from sausage pan or some butter or olive oil, until they begin to soften.

Once sausage is fully cooked and broken up, drain well and add sausage to soup pot, then add potatoes, chicken broth, and 6 cups of water. Bring to a mild boil and turn down and simmer for 45 minutes to a hour or until potatoes are fork tender. Then slowly add the spinach and work into soup, and simmer a couple more minutes. Then you slowly add about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the Wonder flour, stirring the entire time you add slowly, this will NOT make soup real thick, but it will add some body to broth and finally stir in slowly the half and half, simmer just a couple more minutes and serve in bowls with a nice sprinkle of the fresh parmesan cheese with warm fresh french bread, or rolls and a nice green salad.


Active Time:  25 Minutes
Total Time:  55  Minutes
Yield:  5 Servings

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