A few weeks ago, I had the Bible Study Babes to my house for lunch, and I served this soup. They all asked for the recipe. And when I didn’t send it in a timely manner, they hunted me down like a dawg.
Even though it has a long, fancy name, we’ve decided to rename it: Life-Changing Soup. Yes, it’s that good.
If you are a local gal and receive my women’s ministry newsletter, you already got this. Today I publish the recipe for the rest of the planet.
This recipe comes compliments of The Everything Mediterranean Slow Cooker Cook Book, and is a copy-cat recipe of a soup served at The Olive Garden. But since it requires a lot of stovetop cooking on the front end, I just finished it on the stove instead of the slow cooker. Turns out, it took only 35 minutes cooking time, from start to finish. So, even though I love my slow cooker, I wouldn’t bother for this recipe, as the only ingredients that actually “slow cook” here are the potatoes.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 slices bacon, diced (I like to cut mine with kitchen shears)
- 1 pound italian sausage, cut into bite-sized pieces (I used smoked sausage which added GREAT flavor)
- 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons white wine (optional, but recommended)
- 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced (unpeeled red potatoes would be lovely, also)
- 4 cups chicken broth (if you have homemade, use it here!)
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups chopped, fresh spinach or baby kale (I used spinach)
- 1 cup heavy cream (I used a combo of half-n-half and whole milk)
- In a large pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and cook bacon and sausage until crisp and fat has been rendered, about 5 minutes. Mmmmm....bacon.
- Remove the bacon and sausage with a slotted spoon and set aside on paper towels to drain.
- Saute the onion in the fat until softened, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about a minute. (Seriously, can we have a moment of silence for the aroma of onion and garlic cooking in bacon fat?)
- Deglaze the pan with the wine, or if you don't have wine on hand, with a little bit of the chicken broth. Scrape the pan and remove all the delicious brown bits from the bottom.
- Add all the broth, potatoes, pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and meat into the pan and stir. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to simmer and cover. Cook until potatoes are soft and pierce easily with a fork, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the spinach or kale and cook until tender, just a few minutes.
- Stir in cream and heat through.
- Serve immediately with a fresh green salad and some crusty bread.
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