sausage potato soup

I love to cook, but don't talk about it much. Given the super-snow-world that we're living in right now, here's how I made a big pot of wonderfulness for dinner two nights ago:

• 1lb spicy pork sausage (usually buy ground in a roll - near jimmy dean)
• 1 gallon water
• 2 1/2 lbs. potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
• 1 T. chicken stock base
• 1 T. each: white pepper, salt, black pepper
• 2 11-oz. cans concentrated cheddar cheese soup
• 1 lb. butter or margarine (4 sticks)
• 1 1/2 c. flour
• 2 c. half-and-half
• chives, bacon bits and parsley

Bring water to a boil in the big soup pot. Add cut potatoes to water along with the spices - bullion, salt and pepper (lots of pepper). Cook 12 minutes, or until potatoes are about half-done (chris tip: skins are just starting to loosen/pull away) Add cheddar cheese soup and simmer 10 more minutes.

Separately, brown 1lb of spicy pork sausage.

Also separately, you make a huge roux (chris tip: say "rue." melt butter or margarine in a heavy sauce pan. Add flour slowly and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly (really), for 3 to 4 minutes. It makes a paste you call a roux.) Don't cook it too long, it'll start to brown too much.

Whisk the rue (flour/butter paste stuff) into the potato mixture (this thickens it all up) and bring to a boil.

Add browned sausage.

Reduce heat and simmer an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in half-and-half (important this never boils...) and heat to serving temperature. Maybe serve with chives, shredded sharp cheddar, and parsley - and definitely a hot bread/biscuit/roll.

oh yum.
(ps - this is horrible for you)
(pps - I don't measure hardly anything - the numbers are sorta fake for me)
(ppps - stole this from my friend Alison and modified it)

Chris RidgewayrecipeComment