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Return of The Soup
The Soup has a life of its own. What was once a Zuppa Toscano copycat, The Soup has forgotten its humble beginnings as a sausage and potato soup and achieved fame among our friends.
We don’t make The Soup the way we did originally, it’s evolved over the years. I’ve never updated the original recipe on my original blog, but Dave wrote out this version in March 2020 on a friend’s Facebook image of The Soup to share the recipe in the comments. While a bit referential to the early days of the pandemic, I think you’ll agree that his version is more entertaining! He is the better writer. I’ll add a slightly more conventional version based on how we usually make this at the end.
If you like Dave’s writing (and how could you not?) he blogs and you should start at https://davegriffin.me/read-me-first/
- 1/2-1 lb of bacon
- 1 lb of bulk Italian sausage
- 1 large onion chopped
- a shit load of minced garlic (fresh is best)
- 2 large potatoes halved lengthwise and sliced into 1/4″ pieces
- 6 cups of homemade chicken stock (non-negotiable; if you don’t know how to make it… learn.)
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese (powdered in a can is NOT allowed)
Whip out your pound of bacon and slap it down on a cutting board disinfected from pandemic viruses. Cut the bacon into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces and cook over medium heat until the bacon is well cooked but NOT BURNT YOU HEATHEN. Remove bacon and drain on non-existent paper towels that somebody else hoarded.
LEAVE THE BACON GREASE IN THE PAN LIKE A REAL AMERICAN
Then very gently place your pound of Italian Sausage in the scalding bacon grease that will almost certainly splatter and leave you with horrible burns and scar tissue. Brown it. Don’t be afraid. As it browns make sure to continually abuse it so it crumbles into slightly larger than ground beef bits. When it’s nice and browned remove it to a bowl and put it beside your quarantined cooked bacon.
LEAVE THE BACON/SAUSAGE GREASE IN THE PAN LIKE SOMEONE WHO DOESN’T HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE AND DOESN’T CARE ABOUT CHOLESTEROL
You chopped your onion, right? RIGHT?!? You didn’t? *sigh* Fine chop an onion and then throw your onions into the bacon/sausage grease and cook until translucent and your neighbors start coming by wanting to know what smells so good violating social distancing protocols.
Garlic. A shit ton of it. The easiest way to do this is to take a full head of garlic and place it in a mason jar (I swear if you don’t have a mason jar w/ a lid I’m coming over there and beating you to death) lid that bulb up and shake the ever-loving crap outta it. A solid minute. Great job for testosterony teens who need a break from internet porn. 60 seconds later your head of garlic will be paper free and you can fish out all the cloves and start mincing them. I said mincing them. No no no… MINCE-ING. Mince it finer than that. Good enough, I guess. Put your garlic in with the onions as you yell thru the door to your neighbor to go away and learn to cook for themselves.
Once the garlic and onions are cooked… Deglaze the pan by adding your stock and scraping all the lovely browned bits of joy and happiness stuck to the bottom of the pan. These browned bits are called “fucking delicious” in French cooking.
Once incorporated, add your potatoes. Take your potatoes slice ’em down the middle without cutting your fingers like an amateur. And then slice in 1/4 pieces so it looks like a starchy half circle. LEAVE THE SKINS ON LIVE DANGEROUSLY.
Return the quarantined cooked bacon and isolated sausage and bring just to a boil and then simmer. There should be enough liquid to cover everything… if there is NOT enough liquid to cover everything THEN ADD ENOUGH STOCK TO COVER EVERYTHING DAMMIT.
At some point in the next 15-20 minutes or so your potatoes will start to break apart. At this point add the cream and bring back up to a simmer (won’t take long) YOU MIGHT EVEN WANT MORE CREAM… I’ll ALLOW THAT.
While your epic soup is returning to a simmer… cut up some Kale. Make sure to cut the leafy bits off the stem and then chop the leaves into 1 inch pieces.
Now at this point… your pot is simmering… all the goodies in the pot are cooked. Your Kale is staring up at you from the cutting board like a crime victim calling out for help and your neighbor has come back over pretending to return those kitchen shears they “borrowed” and “forgot to return” three years ago. They’re knocking at the door. So what do you do?….
You add salt like an actual cook does. Because of course you made your chicken stock WITHOUT SALT RIGHT?!?
So now you start slowly incorporating salt into your pot. It’s gonna seem like you’re adding waaaaaaay too much. But, really this is probably the least amount of salt you’ve eaten in America in 40 years.
Add salt. Taste. Add more salt. Taste. Still needs a little salt? Guess what? YOU ADD MORE SALT. And then…. suddenly… there’s enough salt in it and you didn’t ruin the last hour of your life and make your housemates mad at you.
Throw a little freshly ground pepper into the mix (red pepper flake if you’re an adventurous type) and then, hearing the cries for help from the chopped kale… you turn off the heat and add the kale. As soon as the Kale is so bright green it looks like the Emerald City in Wizard of OZ you may now allow people to give themselves portions.
Finally grate a wedge of real parmesan cheese and sprinkle copious amounts of the stuff all over the surface of your epic soup.
Enjoy. Have seconds. You WILL have seconds.
Dip some bread into it. Yeah… just like that.
Congratulate yourself. You just made THE SOUP. And you will now be able to survive the apocalypse.
P.S. IF… big IF… IF you feel like being a decent human being you may now share THE SOUP with your obnoxious neighbor in exchange for a roll of toilet paper UNLESS YOUR NEIGHBOR VOTED FOR TRUMP. Then they can pull themselves up by their bootstraps and make it themselves. And if they ask you to share the recipe remind them they don’t believe in socialism or redistribution of goods and they have to fend for themselves. Then cough on their bowl of soup.
The recipe as we usually make it:
- 1 Pot large
- 1 Knife
- 1 Cheese grater
- Measuring spoons
- 1 lb bacon chopped
- 1 lb bulk italian sausage
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 1 head garlic minced
- 3 russet potatoes halved lengthwise and sliced into 1/4" pieces
- 10 cups chicken stock homemade is preferred!
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 bunch kale chopped and stems removed
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes optional
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese freshly grated
- Cut bacon into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces, then cook over medium heat until the bacon is well cooked but not burnt.
- Remove bacon from pot and drain on paper towels. Do not drain grease.
- Add sausage to pot then brown, breaking up into small pieces as it cooks. When browned, remove from pot and set aside.
- Remove excess fat from the pot, leaving about 2 Tablespoons.
- Add chopped onion, cook 3-4 minutes until transluscent.
- Add minced garlic, cook 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Add about a cup of the stock to the pot, scraping browned bits to deglaze.
- Add potatoes, then add bacon and sausage back to the pot.
- Add the remainder of the stock. Ensure that all ingredients are covered by stock.
- Add red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. The salt content will depend highly on your stock. Homemade stock will usually need more salt.
- Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 – 20 minutes until the potatoes start to fall aart.
- Add cream and return to a simmer.
- Add kale, then simmer 1 – 2 minutes until it is a bright green.
- Taste for salt, add more if needed.
- Serve, topped with grated parmesan cheese.
Enjoy your soup! Tell me if you are a devotee of The Soup and any changes you make in the comments.