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Italian Sausage & Potato Soup with Bacon Topping

Despite having lots of meat options available to us, it seems like we have a few favorite meat selections that are our go-to.

Are you the same way?  Do you find that you gravitate to the same 3 or 4 cuts of meat when you're thinking about meal planning?

Here on the farm, I find that the top ones I reach for are ground pork & beef, bacon, sausages, and roasts.  As much as we LOVE things like ribs, steaks, and chops, these feel like I need to put more planning into making them!  (I know, it's all about perspective!  Considering how easy these can be made in a slow cooker!  Ahem, slow cooker honey garlic chops, anyone!)

So, this week's recipe has you reaching for ground pork and bacon!  You can fry up a package or two of bacon at the start of a week and then just use bacon in many ways throughout the week (toss it in your breakfast eggs, caesar salad, wraps, pastas, and of course, soup!).

You can season ground pork with the italian seasonings below and craft a mean meatball if you don't want soup!  The seasonings pack A LOT of punch in this recipe so cut down on the seasonings if you want.

Italian Sausage & Potato Soup Recipe

Ingredients:

For Italian Seasoned Sausage:

  • 2 lbs ground pork (buy it here)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon minced/granulated garlic (try Fifth Gen Gardens here)
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon each fine sea salt & ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds

For soup:

  • 6 cups diced potatoes
  • 8 cups bone broth (recipe for homemade bone broth here)
  • 1 cup cream
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup cooked bacon pieces, for topping (find it here)
  • 1/2 cup grated white cheddar or parmesan cheese, for topping

Instructions:

 In a large dutch oven, combine ground pork and all the spices.  Cook over medium heat until cooked completely through.  In a separate cast iron pan, cook your bacon, if needed.  Use kitchen scissors to slice the bacon into small pieces before cooking.  Cook until desired crispness, then transfer to a paper towel lined plate.

To the dutch oven, add the potatoes & broth.  Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, then turn down to low.  Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes until the potatoes are soft.  Add the cream and salt & pepper to taste.  Heat for a few more minutes after adding the cream.  If you prefer a thicker soup, you can thicken by mixing 2 to 4 tablespoons of cornstarch or flour with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water, then adding the mixture to the soup.  Let it thicken for ten minutes.

Ladle the soup into bowls & top with bacon pieces and grated cheese of your choice.  Enjoy!

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