1 lb Ground Italian Sausage (or 1 Lb ground Sausage + 2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning)
1.5 tsp Crushed Red Pepper (Optional)
4 Slices Bacon, diced
1 Large Diced Onion
1 Large Diced Carrot
5 Minced Cloves Garlic
2 14oz Cans LOW SODIUM Chicken Broth
4 Cups water
2 Large potatoes (Golden work best), Diced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 Cup Heavy Cream
6 - 8 kale leaves, trimmed of center stem and roughly chopped.
In a large pot on Medium High heat, cook sausage and pepper until brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain excess fat. Set sausage aside in the refrigerator while you continue cooking.
In the same pot on Medium High, add bacon. Once bacon has rendered a little (2 - 3 minutes) add onions and carrot. Saute for 5 - 10 minutes, then add garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes more. Onions should be soft and garlic should be browning on the edges- don't let it burn!
Add Chicken broth and deglaze the pan- be sure to get the little brown bits of goodness scraped up off the bottom of the pan. Next add the water.
Bring the soup to a boil, and add 1/4 of the reserved sausage and the potatoes. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 30 Mins (Until potatoes are soft).
Add heavy cream and stir in the remaining sausage. Increase heat to medium low, and bring it back up to temperature.
In each soup bowl, add a small handful of the kale. Pour mixture over it and (If you want) top with fresh-ground pepper and Parmesan cheese.
This recipe BEGS for some good breadsticks to sop up the broth.