1 lb ground Italian sausage -- This is NOT the same as breakfast sausage. Make sure it says ITALIAN sausage. You can usually find it by the other ground meats. We use hot, but you can use mild if you don't like things too hot. If you can't find just a package of ground italian sausage, you can buy the uncooked Italian sausage links, and just remove the casings off the sausage links.
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes (DON'T add this if you used the HOT sausage... it will be plenty hot already! If you used mild sausage, perhaps start out with a little less pepper flakes at first, if you're not sure how spicey you want it)
3 pieces of bacon
2 Tablespoons finely chopped garlic
3 cans chicken broth
4 cups water
2-3 chicken bouillon cubes (You might want to add the 3rd one if the flavor isn't quite strong enough. It's up to your taste preference)
1 cup heavy cream
1 lb sliced russet OR yukon gold potatoes (I always use more potatoes than this, because the potatoes seem to melt into the soup a bit by the end, and if you don't add extra, you aren't left with many actual potato chunks at the end. Don't slice them TOO thin... this will help also.)
fresh kale, cut in small pieces
(what is kale??? take a look.... its a green leafy vegetable. you can find it at most grocery stores. You don't HAVE to add this if you are anti-green vegetables. But, it is very tasty)
1 Saute the sausage and crushed red pepper flakes (if using) in pot until mostly done. Drain excess fat, and refrigerate while you prepare the other ingredients.
2 In the same pan, cook up the bacon until crispy. Remove bacon pieces and set aside.
3 Saute onions and garlic in the bacon grease for approximately 15 minutes or until the onions are soft.
3 Add the broth, water and boullion cubes to the onions and garlic. Cook until boiling.
4 Add potatoes and cook until soft, about half an hour.
5 Add heavy cream and cook until thouroughly heated.
6 Stir in the sausage, crumbled bacon, and kale (if using).
Enjoy this delicious soup with some crusty bread. It is sooooo good. One of our favorites!