For potatoes, ordinary russet potatoes will do perfectly, but to add additional color and texture, you can use scrubbed, unpeeled red potatoes instead.
This will add gorgeous shades of red to the green and white of the soup. Also, buttery Yukon gold potatoes will work well for this recipe.
In the recipe below, fresh spinach leaves are used.
However, if you don’t have fresh spinach on hand, you can substitute frozen spinach instead. Simply thaw a 10-ounce package in a colander under cool running water before adding it to the soup.
Place the potatoes in a large Dutch oven or soup pot and cover with water.
Boil for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are fork-tender. Don’t overcook them, or they’ll dissolve into mush!
Pour off half of the water. You want the potato chunks just barely covered over with liquid.
Add the bacon, Italian sausage, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and a half and half. Stir to combine.
Tear the spinach into large bits and stir it into the soup.
Heat the soup until it is warmed through and the spinach is wilted.
This recipe fills my 4.5-quart Dutch oven about 3/4 of the way.
That translates to roughly 3 1/2 quarts of soup. It feeds my family of five very well, with a little leftover for lunch the next day.
If you have hearty eaters or a larger family, you can scale the recipe up by increasing the potatoes by one or two and adding an extra half-pound of Italian Sausage.
Serve the soup with a crusty yeast bread or a wedge of freshly baked cornbread.