Creamy Potato, Sausage, and Vegetable Soup

This soup is perfect for the cold, windy, damp day we have had. It’s warm, creamy and comforting. If you are looking to cut a few calories and fat you can always use turkey bacon, chicken sausage and sweet potatoes. Instead of all-purpose flour in this dish I use chickpea flour. It thickens, adds flavor, and is good for you. Enjoy!

Creamy Potato, Sausage, and Vegetable Soup
6 thick slices bacon, diced
3 Tbsp. butter
1 large onion, chopped
6 medium (2 C.) carrots, thinly sliced
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried basil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. all-purpose flour
4 C. chicken stock
1-lb. mild ground Italian sausage, cooked and drained
4 C. potatoes, peeled and diced
2 C. kale, packed tight, stem-removed and chopped
1 bell pepper, any color, chopped
1 C. heavy cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
Shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook the bacon in a large pot or Dutch oven until crispy and browned; remove to a paper-towel lined plate to drain. Drain off some of the bacon drippings, leaving a few teaspoons in the pan. Add the butter to the pan and heat over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook, stirring until the onions are just tender ( about 4-5 minutes).

Increase heat to medium-high, and add the thyme, basil, and garlic. Continue cooking, stirring for 1 minute longer. Add the flour and cook, stirring continuously, until the flour is incorporated into the mixture.

Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil (uncovered), stirring frequently. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the diced sausage and potatoes; cover and cook for 15 minutes longer. Add the kale; cover and cook for 5 minutes, and then add the bell pepper and cook an additional 5 minutes until all of the vegetables are tender.

Stir in the cream. Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed. Heat through.

Top each bowl with crumbled bacon and Parmesan cheese.

Yields: 8 servings

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