This is perfect for one of these winter nights, you know, when the sky is grey, and the cold feels like it’s getting to your bones. When you can see your breath while you wait for the car to warm up. When all you really want to drink is hot chocolate and watch happy movies about families that have a tragedy and find some way to overcome it.
If you are adventurous enough, you could even add some pumpkin puree to this and make it an early fall treat. I prefer it exactly how it is.
What you’ll need:
1 pound Spicy Sausage (I used Jimmy Dean, if you use sausage with casings, remove the casing)
5 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 carrots, peeled and cubed
2 leeks, sliced thick and rinsed well
1 large onion, cubed
4 ounces of light cream
48 ounces of chicken stock
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1/2 teaspoon of chives, chopped
1/4 teaspoon of sage, chopped
1 tablespoon of cornstarch and water mixed together
Peel the carrots and cube them evenly, peel and cube the onion, Slice the leeks and rinse them thoroughly in a water bath (leeks can have sand in them, it’s better to take the extra step),
For the recipe:
In a large saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the carrots, onions and leeks.
Cook the vegetables until they begin to soften (about 10 minutes)
Season the vegetables with a pinch of kosher salt and a few cranks of freshly cracked black pepper. Add the Italian sausage.
Brown the sausage completely and then drain the fat. Don’t worry about getting all of the grease out, were going to skim the top of the chowder later. Place the vegetable and meat mixture into a larger sauce/stockpan.
To the stock pan add the 2 bouillon cubes, the chicken stock and potatoes.
Bring to a boil and then lower heat to low and allow to simmer until the potatoes are that wonderful state of fork tender.
See that fat floating on the top of your hard work? Well, were going to remove it. How you ask? with a ladle, of course! just skim the edges around the pan with the edge of the ladle, if you do it correctly, you should remove a good amount of fat and very little liquid. The alternative of this would be cooling down your soup at this point, putting it in the fridge and waiting one day. The next day the fat would have solidified and you could just pull it off the top with ease. But who has that kind of time!?
When the potatoes are soft enough for your tastes (but hopefully not neglected or overcooked) add in the cream, turn the heat to low and allow the cream to warm through.
Add the cornstarch slurry, the soup will thicken up quickly, you can add more or less depending on your preference. Turn off the heat and finish the soup with the sage and the chives.
I wanted to serve this in a bread bowl, I knew that’s how I was going to present it when I was creating the recipe in my head.
I bought a loaf of peasant bread and pre-heated my oven to 400*
Cook the bread for 10 minutes, carefully remove the bread from the oven and cut the top of the bread off with a serrated knife. Carefully scoop the hot bread insides out with a spoon. Do this carefully, you don’t want to break the bread, or remove too much of it.
Ladle the soup into the bread bowl and top with some herbs and crushed red pepper.