Sausage-Potato Soup (or stew)

by Holly
(Chapala, Mexico)

This is my personal "remake" of one of the most heavenly soups I ever ate - and I forgot where. But my remake tastes just like it. Nummers!

Although almost any sausage will do, kielbasa is best, and the Johnsonville Polish variety, being pre-cooked yet succulent and with true kielbasa flavor is best, in my view.

Start by using the shred blade on several potatoes until you have at least 4-5 c. Skin on or off. It's more nutritious with skin on. Put into a large pot with enough salted water to cover, and cook till tender. Drain and leave them in the pot.

Slice a large onion (or 2 medium) fairly thin. Sautee in enough butter to coat, until very nicely browned. Put the onions in the pot with the potatoes.

Cut the sausage (about 1 lb, or a bit more) into flat disks. Fry them to the desired doneness. (Johnsonville's remove the need to cook pork thoroughly because they already are. That gives you the juiciness without the risk.)

When beautifully browned, add the sausage to the pot.

If desired, sautee some sliced mushrooms in the same pan as the onions. You can use anywhere from 1 c to 3 c of sliced shrooms. Use enough melted butter to coat them, but don't use more than that. Cook till they exude their juices and then reabsorb all the liquid. Add them to the pot.

Make a thin white sauce. Make a roux of 4 Tb butter and 4-5 Tb flour. Take off the fire. Add milk after the flour is mixed well with the butter. When it's thoroughly blended, put back on the fire, adding more milk till you have at least 3-4 c of white sauce. You can substitute rich cream for at least 1 c of the milk, for a richer soup. If it's too thick, thin it with more milk. For a richer and more substantial sauce, you can beat 3 eggs into the milk before using it in the white sauce.

If desired, add a glug of a good dry white wine to the sauce.

When your white sauce is ready, season it with minced or granulated garlic and coarse-ground black pepper to taste, pour it over the mixture in the pot and then cook the finished soup till it is very hot - but don't boil it if you put cream into the sauce.

When your soup is beautifully hot, serve. Seasoned croutons, or a sprinkle of sliced scallion stems make a good garnish. A salad and some kind of favorite bread is all you need to make this a satisfying meal, especially on a cold day. The soup CAN be eaten cold, but I'd like it better reheated.

Freezes very well.

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