In a large Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Once cooled, chop the bacon into bite size pieces and set aside. Add the sausage to the bacon grease and cook, breaking into clumps with a spoon, until no longer pink. Remove from the pot and drain, reserving drippings.
Return 2 tablespoons of drippings back into the pot. Add the onion, celery, carrot and salt. Sauté the vegetables until crisp tender, 3 or 4 minutes. Add the garlic, crushed red pepper and thyme. Sauté until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour forms a fond on the bottom of the pan and starts to brown, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the potatoes and broth to the pot. Stir to combine scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring the soup to a boil over medium high, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are just tender, about 10 minutes.
Add the half-and-half, kale, black pepper, crumbled sausage and chopped bacon. Cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the kale is softened and the soup is heated through. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.
Serve immediately garnished with chopped parsley, extra crumbled bacon, and black pepper, if desired. We enjoy this soup with hunks of nice crusty bread for dipping.