Country Breakfast Soup
½ pound thick-cut bacon
½ pound pork sausage
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon ground mustard
½ teaspoon celery salt
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 medium yellow onion, diced
⅔ cup diced baby bell peppers (blend of red, yellow, orange)
½ cup sliced leeks
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup milk
1 1-pound bag frozen shredded hash brown potatoes (about 5 cups)
½ cup sour cream
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup shredded Gouda cheese
½ cup shredded cheddar jack cheese
Fresh chives, optional
Buttermilk Biscuit Dumplings:
1½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
½ tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
7 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons margarine or vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces
¾ cup buttermilk
- Cook 4 slices of the bacon until crisp. Drain and crumble. Reserve until needed.
- Cook sausage until browned. Drain and crumble.
- Mix dry seasonings in a small dish.
- Cut remaining bacon into small pieces with kitchen shears. Add to a large soup pot and cook until nearly crisp. Add diced onion, peppers, leeks, and crumbled sausage. Cook on low until vegetables are soft and fragrant.
- Add about half the dry seasonings. Mix in the flour, stirring to combine.
- Reduce heat to medium; add broth, half-and-half, and milk. Bring to a simmer. Add hash browns and remaining seasonings. Lower heat slightly and continue to cook.
- Meanwhile, place sour cream and cream cheese in a glass mixing dish. Remove about a cup of soup and add to this dish. Allow to sit for about a minute, then mix well to combine, being careful not to leave lumps. Return the whole mixture to the soup pot; stir to combine. Add cheese and stir to combine.
- For dumplings: Whisk together dry ingredients. Using your hands, work the butter and margarine into the flour until it is like coarse crumbs. Add buttermilk and stir gently with a wooden spoon just until the dough forms a ball.
- Return heat to medium. Using a 1-ounce scoop, drop dumpling dough across the top of the soup. No need to be fancy; just allow each dumpling some breathing room. Cover and cook for 6 to 8 minutes or just until dough is cooked. Cool slightly. Top with reserved bacon crumbles and, if desired, fresh chives.
- Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Recipe courtesy Olivia Smith of Winterset.