Creamy Greens Soup with Hot Italian Sausage

Greens Soup
2 Tbsp butter
1 large white onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
1 qt chicken broth
6 cups greens of your choice, roughly chopped*
1 cup cream
salt and pepper, to taste

For the sausage
4 hot Italian beef sausages
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil

1. In a stock pot, melt the butter for the soup. Add onions and cook over low heat until translucent; do not burn. Add garlic and stir. Cook approximately two minutes, until fragrant.

2. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Toss in greens, reduce heat to low, and cover. Cook for approximately 5 minutes, or until greens are just wilted and bright green. Remove from heat.

3. Meanwhile, in a separate skillet, sauté sausages over low hear in butter and olive oil, turning frequently for even cooking. After about ten minutes, remove sausages to a cutting board with a slotted spoon. Cut into slices and return to pan. Continue to cook over low heat until the soup is ready.

4. Pour the greens and stock mixture into a blender or large food processor and purée until nearly smooth. Return to stock pot, add the salt and pepper and about 3/4 of the cream, and cook over low heat for a further five minutes, until nicely warmed.

5. Using a ladle, portion soup out evenly across four shallow bowls (I use pasta plates). Drizzle the remaining cream in a circle in each bowl, creating a nice garnish. Again using a slotted spoon to drain the oil, carefully place one quarter of the sausage slices into each bowl. Serve immediately.

Serves 4. This dish is surprisingly filling.

*I used fresh chard from the downtown Austin Farmers Market, half a head of lettuce I had in the crisper, and 2/3 of a standard bag of frozen spinach, which I thawed out under running, lukewarm water.

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