Thursday, September 26, 2013

Leftover Brats

One of our favorite go-to meals in the summer is brats. On the grill or in the oven -- on a bun with onions and mustard or plain with baked beans...

Brats was one of Lillian's favorites -- but the novelty has worn off. As it turns out, leftover cooked brats is a handy thing to have in the frig. They already have all that delicious spicy seasoning...

One day, I sliced them up and put them in scrambled eggs...DELISH.  So simple and fast...

For supper one night, I cooked spaghetti, then crumbled two leftover brats, and tossed with fresh tomatoes and basil, a little olive oil and Parmesan cheese -- HEAVEN.

But here is my favorite leftover-brat-dish -- inspired by the Tuscan Sausage Soup at the Olive Garden. WHICH I LOVE. John has been digging all these delicious potatoes from his garden...

Think creamy potato soup with hot spicy sausage (the Olive Garden version has Kale in it..).

I looked up some recipes online...but nothing was quite right.

First, I fried off 5 strips of bacon. (to be completely honest -- it was six strips of bacon) I broke up the crispy bacon on a paper towel -- and used the drippings to saute a finely chopped Vidalia onion. While that was happening, I cubed three large potatoes and got them started with a little water in my Pampered Chef microwave vegetable cooker (they were tender in about 4 minutes)...

I drained the bacon fat -- crumbled three leftover brats into the nearly-cooked onions -- and added the hot nearly-cooked potatoes.  (seriously -- it's almost done...)

I poured in a quart of chicken stock and two cups of milk. I added 2 TBL of flour to some of the stock to help thicken the soup.

At that point -- the soup is almost ready. Since I didn't have any kale (shocking, I know) -- I chopped a cup of dark green leaf lettuce -- which was GREAT. (I think frozen spinach would have worked.)

After I put the soup in the bowls -- I sprinkled the CRISPY BACON on top.

HOLY COW....the soup was delicious!!  I know this is something I'll get hungry for.  Again.  Soon.  And from now on -- when I cook brats -- I'm going to deliberately make extra!!

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