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My parents went to visit my cousin for her birthday last week. Due to certain circumstances, I stayed behind. Being home got me thinking about all the weekends I used to spend in Delaware with the family and all the cooking we did together.

With this cold weather, I was especially craving something hot and soothing. And that’s when I remembered the sausage soup I made that winter in Delaware. Its remniscent of the sausage and potato soup one can find at Olive Garden. Sopa Toscana.

Its comfort food. Hot broth with sliced tomatoes, crispy bits of smoky bacon, crumbled sausage and kale. I made some tweaks this time around. Last time, i used turkey bacon and although I liked it, I thought it could have been better. So this is my modified version… and in a slow cooker!

Ingredients (makes 4-6 servings):

1 medium onion, diced

1 lb of sweet hot italian sausage

2 oz smokey bacon

6 cups of chicken broth

2 T non fat milk

1 T flour

6 medium sized potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds

1 bunch of kale, trimmed, spines removed, and roughly chopped

Method:DSC03483

I omitted the onion by accident but, as it turns out, it worked just fine without it. So I removed the casing from the sausage and crumbled it into my fry pan. I cooked the meat through making sure to break it up into crumbles as i went along.

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There will be some liquid in the pan. I did not save it. I chucked the liquid and added the sausage crumbles to my slow cooker.

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In the same pan, i heated some thick smokey bacon and added it to the pan to crisp up.

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While the bacon was crisping, i sliced the potatoes and threw that on top of the sausage crumbles in the slow cooker.

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And after about 10 minutes, the bacon was crispy. I drained the oil from the bacon and patted the pieces dry with a paper towel, then added them to the crock pot.

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On top of all the ingredients i added the 6 cups of chicken broth. I covered the crock pot and let it cook on low for 8 hours.

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when i got home, i added the kale to the soup and cooked it on high for 30 minutes to allow the kale to soften.

I served myself a hearty bowl and went a little nuts with the parm cheese. The spicy sausage was a little salty so the while it was in the slow cooker, it lended its saltiness all around and the result was a perfectly seasoned soup! But if you have a salty palatte then season accordingly!

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Get your snuggie, grab a bowl, and watch a Chopped marathon.

Kick it up a notch and grab a glass of Shiraz! Yummers.

Leftovers are amazing! And you can freeze this baby! wepa!

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