Smoked Sausage-Potato Soup with Toasted Pumpernickel Croutons
from the kitchen of Trudy Escoubas

4 tablespoons butter
1 onion peeled and diced
1 stalk celery sliced thinly
12 ounces kielbasa smoked sausage
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
4 cups chicken broth or stock
3 large russet potatoes peeled and diced into ½ inch cubes
1 cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons flour
12 ounces Wisconsin Swiss or Gruyere cheese, grated
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter
6 slices pumpernickel bread diced into ¼ inch cubes

Melt the butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions,
celery, sausage and caraway seeds. Sauté mixture, stirring occasionally
until the onion and celery are soft. Add the chicken broth and potatoes
to the pan and return to a boil. Mix together the water, cornstarch and
flour. Whisk into the broth to thicken and simmer for four minutes.
Mix in the cheese and reduce heat to low and simmer for an additional
five minutes.

In a separate sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add diced
bread tossing lightly with the butter. Toast the croutons, stirring often
until crunchy and aromatic. Sprinkle atop the soup and serve.


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