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|Bacon & Brats Soup|
Like Zuppa Tuscana? You’ll love the version of this creamy soup made with bratwurst and bacon.
At first I set out to make the hack of Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana. But I was tired of Italian sausage having had them so much over the recent holiday season.
Bratwurst was on sale this week, and I always buy them when they go on sale. Sadly, they didn’t have the cheddar variety, which I LOVE and would have tasted better in this soup, so I bought the plain.
Basically, the soup is the same as the Olive Garden version, except for the flavor the bratwurst impart.
|A meal in a bowl|
Another great (and different) flavor would be smoked sausage or kielbasa in place of the brats. In fact, that sounds so super, it’s on my rotation in a couple of weeks!
Nothing difficult or time consuming about the prep or cooking of this soup. It’s any easy dinner. Only thing I strongly advise is using a very good and flavorful chicken stock.
The chicken stock in the can or the newfangled box probably won’t cut it here for flavor. When I cheat and don’t make my own stock, I find the flavor of Knorr concentrated–the stuff in the little tubs sold 4 tubs to a package–or Swanson’s Flavor Boost to be outstanding.
If you are lucky enough to be in a part of the world that sells OXO liquid, use that as the flavor is outstanding! My sister supplies me with it each time she visits from the UK.
This is a complete meal in a bowl, so a nice crusty roll or a hunk of Artisan bread is probably the only accompaniment you need here.
EDIT: The flavor of this soup improves 100% if made ahead! The leftovers I reheated 2 days later tasted much better than when I’d originally served it. So I suggest making it at least 24 hours before you intend to serve it.
Bacon & Brats Soup
- 1 lb bratwurst uncooked*
- 1/2 lb bacon diced
- 2 large potatoes diced
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 8 cups rich chicken stock**
- 1 cup cream
- 1 cup shredded kale
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- *Kielbasa, smoked sausage, Italian sausage or bulk sausage may be substituted
- **8 cups water + 2 little tubs of Knorr concentrated chicken stock may be substituted. Swanson's Flavor Boost Chicken flavor is good too--use 2 pouches + 8 cups water. You can use Herb-Ox (or similar), but it doesn't taste as good, FYI
- Cut bratwurst into 1/4-inch slices.
- Heat a stock pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the bratwurst and cook, breaking up into smaller lumps, until it's brown and no pink remains. If using kielbasa/smoked sausage that's already cooked, brown it well. Remove from pan and set aside. Drain pan of any accumulated fat.
- Add the bacon to the same stock pot/dutch oven. Cook and brown over medium heat. Remove bacon to paper-towel lined tray to drain. Remove all but about 2 tbs of fat from the pan.
- Add the onion, potatoes & garlic and saute over medium-low heat until onion is translucent--about 5 minutes.
- Add the bratwurst, bacon and stock to the pan. Add the salt & pepper if necessary--you may not need it if using Herb-Ox type stock.
- Bring to boil over medium heat. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for approximately 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
- Add the kale and cook for about 1 minutes.
- Add the cream; heat through.
|Bacon & Brats Soup|
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