Spicy-Up Soup

I recently spent a couple weeks with my family in GA. It's always a long time between visits, so we try to make the trip as long as we can and cram in as many activities as possible. This time, I took advantage of some additional guinea pigs and made my new soup for my parents. Originally the soup was supposed to be my "Fourth of July" soup that would make you think of summer and July 4th when you ate it (I've been aching for Spring for a while now), but it was a flop in that sense. I loved the soup, but it in no way, shape, or form made me think of summer, fireworks, hotdogs, or anything like that. "Fourth of July" as a name was out. It has a potato base, but doesn't taste like a traditional potato soup, so it seemed misleading to call it "Potato Soup"...so I was at a loss and, as always, turned to Mom and Dad for help.

When my sister was young, she was well known for some...interesting...creations in the kitchen. The most famous of those creations was her Spicy-Up Soup (yes, my mom has been holding on to this recipe for 20+ years).

When Spicy-Up came up in conversation as I was organizing and thinning Mom's recipe box, I decided give the name a new incarnation. It seemed so fitting as this soup just warms me to my soul and gives me all the comfort of great times with my family. It's like home in a bowl.

And it's a really easy home in a bowl.

Stove top, slow cooker. Just do it.

Spicy-Up Soup

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 bratwurst
  • 1 medium/large sweet potato
  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 3 quarts water
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • 2 tsp basil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, colby, whatever you have handy)
  • cornstarch to thicken
  • additional salt and pepper to taste
  • diced tomato, garnish
  • green onion, garnish

Stovetop:
In a large stock pot, melt butter and cook onions and bratwurst over medium-low heat. Sweat the onions until translucent.
While onions and brats are cooking, peel and cut potatoes into 1/2" pieces.
Once onions are translucent, pierce each brat several times so flavors can escape into the soup, add remaining ingredients to stock pot.
Cook over medium heat until potatoes are soft.
Remove bay leaves and two brats, blend until smooth with immersible blender. Add cheese while blending, then add cornstarch to desired thickness (I use about 2 tsp).
Slice the two brats you removed into bite-sized chunks and return to pot.
Add additional salt/pepper to taste.
Serve and garnish with tomatoes and green onions.

Slow Cooker:
In a large skillet, melt butter and cook onions and bratwurst over medium-low heat. Sweat the onions until translucent (this can be done ahead of time).
While onions and brats are cooking, peel and cut potatoes into 1/2" pieces.
Once onions are translucent, pierce each brat several times so flavors can escape into the soup, add remaining ingredients to stock pot.
Cook on high for 3-4 hours.
Remove bay leaves and two brats, blend until smooth with immersible blender. Add cheese while blending, then add cornstarch to desired thickness (I use about 2 tsp).
Slice the two brats you removed into bite-sized chunks and return to pot.
Add additional salt/pepper to taste.
Serve and garnish with tomatoes and green onions.

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