Italian Sausage Vegetable Soup

3/4 lb ground Italian sausage (mild or hot)
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 small or 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, chopped in half then sliced
2 medium-sized carrots, sliced (1/2 cup)
1 celery stalk, sliced (1/2 cup)
salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 lb baby red potatoes (about 6 baby red potatoes,) chopped
6 cups Progresso chicken broth
15 oz can crushed tomatoes
parmesan cheese rind (optional)

1. Brown Italian sausage in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat.
Transfer to a plate then turn heat down to medium. Add extra virgin olive oil to the
pot then add leeks, carrots, and celery, season with salt and pepper, and then
saute until vegetables are tender, 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and Italian seasoning
then saute until garlic is fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
2. Add potatoes, chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, parmesan cheese rind, and
browned sausage to the pot then turn heat up to bring soup to a boil. Turn heat
back down to medium then cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, 5-7
minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary then serve topped with freshly
grated parmesan cheese.

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