When my husband and I learned in late March that our first baby was on her way, my Inner Idealist went into hyperdrive: “I’m going to be the healthiest expectant mom I can possibly be! I’m going to eat well, exercise well, and give this little baby the best start in life!”
At least my intentions were good! But as soon as I hit the 7-week mark, morning sickness and extreme fatigue hit me like a train. Just eating something, especially for breakfast, became a daily challenge.
Thankfully, dietary guidelines for the first trimester are quite forgiving—and as April dragged by, I was able to give my fragile eating habits some compassionate “stakes.” I allowed myself to depend on bland, easy-to-digest foods like rice, bananas, and bagels. But I also re-discovered the joy of simple soups, paired with a slice of sourdough bread.
This potato soup was one of the meals I relied on during my first trimester. You don’t need to pair it with bread, but it does need some protein—which is why I love the addition of link sausage. The first time I made it, I served the sausage as a topping and a substitute for bacon. Now that my appetite has returned to life in the second trimester, I mix it into the soup itself. Double the ingredients for a larger family, and you’ll have plenty of smooth, hearty leftovers for another busy weeknight.
4 large potatoes peeled and cubed
1 teaspoon salt (for boiling potatoes)
1 lb. link sausage, sliced (I like a mild Cajun pork sausage but any kind will do!)
5 tablespoons butter
½ cup of frozen seasoning blend (onions & bell peppers)
½ teaspoon garlic powder (or 2 cloves of garlic, minced, if you have them)
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 ½ cups milk (I rarely keep milk in my fridge, so I use 1 can of evaporated milk plus enough water to make 2 ½ cups)
2 ½ cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt (for seasoning soup)
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Peel, wash, and cube the potatoes. Cover with water in a large pot, seasoning with the first teaspoon of salt. Cook ’til the potatoes are soft (about 20 minutes, depending on how fast your water heats up). Drain the potatoes in a colander and set aside; do not return to the pot just yet. Brown the link sausage in a skillet and set aside.
In the same large pot where you cooked the potatoes, add the butter and frozen seasoning blend. Sprinkle in the garlic powder (or minced garlic) and sauté until the seasoning blend is tender. Whisk in flour until incorporated, then add the milk and chicken broth and bring to a gentle boil.
Carefully add the potatoes to the milk/broth mixture and mash gently until the soup is smooth. Add the sausage and season with salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil and then remove from heat.
Top with sour cream (or Greek yogurt), cheese, and green onions. Bon appetit!
Yield: 6 servings
The featured image is courtesy of Maribeth Barber Albritton and is used with her kind permission for Cultivating.
Maribeth Barber Albritton is a small-town Southerner captivated by stories, the beauty and love of her Savior, and the power of the active-contemplative, Christ-centered life. During her years as a homeschool student, she developed a fierce love for history, literature, and film. These passions inspired her debut novel, Operation Lionhearted, as well as her blog, A Writer’s Tale, where she often reviews books and movies from the angle of the Christian imagination. She and her pastor-husband Casey, both hobbits at heart, live in southwest Mississippi in a red-brick manse they’ve affectionately named “Crickhollow.”
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