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Hearty kale and sausage soup recipe

Hearty kale and sausage soup recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Soup
  • Vegetable soup

Kale is one of those leafy greens that we all should eat more of. Serve with a crusty roll.

47 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 1 dessertspoon cooking oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 (200g) bags chopped kale
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or to taste
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 (410g) tin chick peas, drained
  • 1.4 litres chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons crushed chillies or more to taste
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 225g pork sausagemeat, lightly spiced

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:45min ›Ready in:1hr

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onion and kale in the hot oil until the kale is soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, carrot and chick peas; cook together for about 5 minutes. Pour the chicken stock into the saucepan. Season with the crushed chillies, salt and black pepper. Simmer until the carrot and chick peas are tender, about 20 minutes.
  2. As the soup simmers, crumble the sausage into a frying pan over medium heat. Cook until entirely browned, breaking the sausage into small pieces with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Stir the cooked sausage into the soup just before serving.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(44)

Reviews in English (34)

by jimmiemom

This soup was great! I followed the recipe as written, but made it before work and put all into the slow cooker after cooking the kale down a little. I did not add the sausage, as the soup was flavorful and peppery without it, but will add some later for my husband, as he's more likely to eat it with the meat. I was uncertain at first, as I've tried kale and some other greens before and found them too bitter, but this soup was a wonderful way to get the health benefits of kale and the other vegetables without the disadvantages of canned, high sodium soups.-08 Jan 2010

by MandyJ

A good, hearty soup to start. I ended up adding a few more things for flavor and heartiness. I added a tsp each of parsley, thyme and rosemary, doubled the garlic and added one cup of diced tomatoes in juice, a cup of white wine and a handful of chopped mushrooms. I also tossed in some chopped cooked kielbasa toward the end of cooking to add more protein. Yum!-12 Feb 2010

by JulietCooks

This recipe is excellent! I served it over brown rice, and added less broth, so it was more of a stew than a soup.-08 Feb 2010

Sausage soup with sauerkraut and kale makes hearty one-pot meal

Smoked sausage (Photo: SCOTT CLAUSE/USA TODAY Network)

When hectic holiday schedules have you scrambling to feed the family, a hearty soup is the easy answer.

The following recipe for Sausage, Sauerkraut and Kale Soup has filling flavors, can be prepared quickly and is relatively healthy. The tangy sauerkraut gives a bright flavor to every spoonful.

Serve the soup with crusty French bread, and it's a one-pot meal.

The pairing of sausage and sauerkraut is common on German restaurant menus. The twist on that duo is tossing in a couple of handfuls of chopped kale to add more fiber, antioxidants and other nutritional rewards. Leeks, which taste like a blend of onion and garlic, add another layer of flavor.

As a side note, leeks can taste gritty if not properly processed because they draw up loose soil in the stem while growing. To avoid that, cut the roots and green tops from the middle white section. Then cut the white middle section in half lengthwise. Soak the halves in a bowl of water, swishing them two or three times. The dirt will float to the bottom of the dish. Dry the leaks before slicing or dicing them.

Laura Gutschke (Photo: Tommy Metthe/Reporter-News)

The ingredients in the recipe below can be adjusted to personal tastes. Not a fan of sauerkraut? Then use only one-fourth or one-half of the amount listed in the recipe.

Don't like kale? Toss in chopped baby spinach instead. Whichever you choose, dark greens are just the healthy alternative your body needs after too many helpings of heavy Thanksgiving fare.

The recipe is based on Sauerkraut Soup from "The Low-Carb Cookbook" (1997) by Fran McCullough. As the book suggests, it's a relatively healthy recipe, especially for those who are cutting carbohydrates from their diet.

My changes to the dish involve clarifying the directions and using beef broth instead of the chicken variety. The recipe also called for kielbasa sausage, but I prefer German-style smoked sausage, such as from Opa's or Kiolbassa that should be available at local grocery stores.

Share your favorite recipes or food-related historical recollections by emailing Laura Gutschke at [email protected]

Kale and Sausage Soup

This soup can be made mild or spicy depending on the type of sausage you use. I typically use a mild ground Italian sausage because my kids don’t like too much heat. But if your family is all about the heat, then use a medium or hot Italian sausage. I’ve done this before and it was delicious! My husband and I both liked the added heat.

In place of the ground Italian sausage, you could also use whole sausages (like bratwurst) sliced. Or, if you’re looking for a healthier option, an Italian turkey sausage is good too!

For the kale, I like to use a flat leaf kale like Italian kale or Red Russian kale, but any kale will work. I’ve used common curly kale as well and it’s still delicious! Flat leaf kales are a little more tender and take a little less time to cook down than curly kales. Learn more about different types of kale here.

Add your sausage, onions, and garlic to a large Dutch oven to brown the sausage on medium-high. If you’re using a leaner meat, like ground turkey, you may need to add some oil too. As the meat browns, break it up into bite-sized chunks.

When the sausage is browned, add the stock, kale, and beans. Salt and pepper, to taste. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil. Once the soup comes to a boil, turn the heat down, cover, and simmer until the kale is tender, about 20-30 minutes. Serve hot.

Sausage, Potato and Kale Soup

This Sausage Potato and Kale Soup recipe is really quick, easy, and budget-friendly. I purchased everything for the recipe from Aldi’s.

A spicy, creamy, and hearty soup!

Sausage Potato and Kale Soup

Heat oil in large dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat and brown the Italian sausage. Add onions, garlic and spices cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the broth and bay leaf.

Bring to a boil and add the red potatoes and cook until the potatoes are tender about 10 minutes.

I used baby kale. You can use any kale you like or even spinach.

The spice level is up to you. I used mild sausage and added a 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. But you can certainly use spicy sausage.

Stir in the kale until it begins to wilt then add the heavy cream.

Serve and enjoy the depth of flavor this Zuppa Toscana it’s just like Olive Garden!

Sausage, Kale and Bean Soup Recipe

  • Author: Katie Kimball
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings


  • 2 Tbs. Extra-virgin olive oil (use the code STEWARDSHIP for 10 % off at that site!)
  • 1/2 or 1 lb. bulk Italian sweet or hot sausage, or use homemade sausage seasoning and any ground meat
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 – 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 large potato, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
  • salt (Use the code kitchenstewardship for 15% off of your first purchase) and pepper
  • 4 c. fresh kale (or other leafy green like spinach)
  • 2 quarts chicken broth or stock
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano, to pass at table


  1. Heat medium soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the oil and sausage and brown.
  2. Add veggies, bay leaf and beans. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook 5 minutes to soften veggies.
  4. Add greens and wilt. Add stock and cover.
  5. Raise heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Serve with grated cheese for topping.


Any ground meat can be transformed into homemade sausage with the right seasoning blend. Adjust spice to taste with cayenne.

You can leave the peels on the potatoes for nutrients, especially if you have organic.

Allow the crushed garlic to rest for 7 minutes before heating for optimal health benefits don’t overcook.

I always encourage dry beans when you can see how to cook them. For this recipe, you can use anywhere from 3-5 cups of cooked white beans. I make the whole bag and simply store any leftovers in the freezer!

Of course you’re going to use homemade chicken stock, without question, right?

Did you make this recipe?

There's nothing like a good, substantial soup to set you right at the end of a long day&mdashit's homey, comforting, and often makes for a great leftover lunch tomorrow. The recipes in this gallery are wonderfully wide-ranging, but every one of them is filling enough that it can stand on its own for dinner (though a side salad or a good loaf of bread is never a bad idea!).

The meaty options include two takes on chicken soup&mdashone classic and one with a Peruvian twist that includes rice, potatoes and loads of zippy cilantro&mdashas well as an Italian Wedding Soup that uses sausage instead of meatballs (a super-smart trick for busy cooks, since sausage is already seasoned). Time-pressed cooks will also love a wonton soup that doesn't actually involve making any dumplings rather, you drop broken wonton wrappers into the broth along with meatballs. All the traditional elements of the soup are there, but you'll skip out on the labor-intensive step of filling wontons. There's also a Pork-and-Cabbage Soup that's reminiscent of Polish stuffed cabbage (again, no filling of cabbage leaves involved!) and a bean soup that includes leftover ham or lamb for heft.

Filling soups needn't be heavy on the meat, though. Take our Escarole and Bean Soup, shown here, which uses canned beans and comes together in just 25 minutes and is an excellent option for a busy weeknight meal. Another good choice is our lentil soup, which includes the game-changing inclusion of shiitake mushrooms&mdashsome added to the lentils and simmered, some roasted in the oven for serious umami flavor. We've also got a number of vegetable-heavy options, such as a potato, broccoli, and cheddar soup minestrone an Asian-inspired coconut-zucchini soup and a quinoa and lemon soup whose delicate flavor belies its ability to fill up hungry stomachs.

What Sausage to Use

If you’re wondering what type of sausage to use for this recipe, it’s flexible. To me, the best sausage to use is one that has some seasoning mixed in. I use spicy ground sausage (Jimmy Dean Hot), because it has a ton of flavor and it’s not too spicy.

I’ve also used spicy Italian ground pork, I’ve removed the casings from Italian sausage, and I’ve used plain ground sausage. If you use plain ground sausage, you might want to add some additional seasonings (oregano or Italian seasoning).

Whatever sausage you use, just make sure it doesn’t contain extra hidden carbs in the form of sugars.

How to Make Kale Soup in 30 Minutes

This soup comes together in no time. Here’s how we do it:

We cook onions with a little oil and butter then add garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Then we throw in sliced chicken sausage — it’s already cooked, so it makes things extra easy — as well as chicken stock. Kale, potatoes, and chopped tomatoes come next and finally a splash of milk for creaminess.

Then just before serving we add a bunch of fresh spinach leaves. And that’s it — hearty, simple kale soup with sausage and potatoes. It’s one of our favorites.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: How to make pasta tossed with homemade kale and almond pesto. Jump to the Kale and Almond Pesto Pasta Recipe.

Recipe updated, originally posted March 2012. Since posting this in 2012, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne

Sausage Kale Soup

I enjoy soups but for some reason I don’t make them often. I don’t know why this is, as they are tasty and nutritious and usually make enough for at least two meals and a few lunches besides. I think it’s all the chopping — it always seems like such a process. And it IS. This Sausage Kale Soup took me about an hour to put together. But it makes a TON, and it’s so nice to fix it and forget it, ya know??

I found this recipe for Sausage & White Bean Soup with Kale on my friend Lydia’s site. Her recipes are generally very tasty as well as nutrient-dense (and always gluten-free!) I made a few modifications based on what I had in the house. Here’s how it came together.

Sausage Kale Soup

I started out by sautéing the onions, celery and carrots in some bacon grease that I had saved from a bacon-and-eggs breakfast earlier in the week until tender.

Meanwhile, I washed and chopped up the kale. (I love how this soup gets greens into our diets!)

Then I added that and some diced garlic to the veggies on the stove.

I didn’t have Parmesan or rosemary sprigs, so I just added some dried rosemary from my spice rack.

This is about the time that I realized I should have browned my sausage first. So I removed the veggies to a bowl and pulled out my sausage. I used Italian sausage, which gave the soup a nice heat. The kids thought it was a bit spicy for their tastes, so next time I might try a milder sausage. My husband and I liked it though! Actually so did my son. My daughters . . . notsomuch.

I crumbled it up in the pan and let it get nice and brown and happy.

While that was happening, I drained 2 cans of Northern White Beans. I never plan my dinner making far enough in advance to soak and cook dried beans.

I don’t really like to use canned anything for BPA concerns, but I make the exception with beans. Hush. Don’t tell me how bad they are for us. I don’t wanna know.

Then it was time to put everything together. I didn’t have homemade beef stock, so I used storebought. I like this Pacific brand I keep it in the house at all times.

I actually used half storebought beef stock and half homemade chicken stock because I happened to have some on hand.

Then you just let it simmer for about an hour or until you are ready to eat.

I did not add the stick of butter, but here’s a funny thing. My 6-year-old was eating the soup (she wasn’t crazy about it, so she was just picking at it) and as she went to butter her muffin (my kids dubbed these Cookie Corn Muffins because they are so sweet and delicious!!) she suggested that she add butter to her soup.

It was totally random and out of the blue (yes, my kids love butter as much as I do!) because I hadn’t mentioned that I omitted it from the recipe. So I let her, of course! And she did eat it up after that! So next time, I might try adding HALF a stick to the pot — a whole stick seems like an awful lot, considering the fact that I sautéed the veggies in bacon grease. But hey, maybe I don’t know what I’m missing!

I’d also love to try it again with the Parmesan rind, and perhaps with some Parm grated on top as well. I’ll bet that adds a nice depth of flavor to the soup.

Hearty Sausage and Potato Soup Recipe

Prepare this potato soup with kale to make it super-nutritious, and add kielbasa sausage to make it even more substantial.

By Barbara Damrosch
October/November 2015 Updated 4/5/2021

Yield: 4 servings

Here&rsquos a soup to warm your bones after raking autumn leaves, toting in firewood, or playing football in the yard. We make it a nutritious meal-in-a-bowl by adding a leafy cooking green, such as kale, spinach, turnip greens or Swiss chard.

Any sausage will provide a hearty meat element, but we especially like the deep, slightly spicy flavor of kielbasa. Traditional in Poland, kielbasa is usually sold tied in a loop, weighing about 1 pound. Some brands are a bit bland, and if you can&rsquot find one you like locally, try the kielbasa from Harrington&rsquos of Vermont. We sometimes use the whole loop, but even if you omit the meat altogether, this will still be a sturdy, fortifying dish.


  • 1/2 pound kielbasa sausage
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped leeks (about 4 medium leeks)
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 8 medium kale leaves
  • 2 pounds red-skinned potatoes, cut into cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated or pressed
  • 1/2 tsp minced fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


1. Cut the kielbasa into rounds 1/4-inch thick. Pour the olive oil into a medium skillet and fry the rounds on both sides to brown them, taking care not to burn them, over medium heat. Leave the fat in the skillet and transfer the kielbasa to a Dutch oven or heavy casserole. Trim and discard the leeks&rsquo green tops and split the white shanks lengthwise, then rinse to remove all traces of soil. Chop into 1-inch pieces and add to the skillet along with salt. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring often and checking to make sure the leeks don&rsquot burn or stick to the pan add a little water if needed. After about 10 minutes, add 2 tablespoons of water, stir, and add the leeks to the sausage, scraping the skillet with a spatula to get all the tasty brown bits.

2. Strip the kale leaves from the tough stems and ribs, and then chop the leaves. Add them to the sausage and leeks along with the potatoes, garlic, thyme, bay, sage, pepper and 3 cups of water. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender and have absorbed the various flavors &mdash about 30 minutes. Stir in the cream, and taste for salt and pepper.

3. Or, to serve later, remove from heat and refrigerate. Just before serving, heat the soup to just under a simmer, and stir in the cream, salt and pepper. Serve the soup piping hot.

Want to learn more about cooking with potatoes and garlic? Read Growing and Cooking with Potatoes and Garlic for delicious ideas and recipes.

Barbara Damrosch farms and writes with her husband, Eliot Coleman, at Four Season Farm in Harborside, Maine, where sturdy bowls of potato soup frequently chase the chill on cool, fall evenings. She is the author of The Garden Primer and, with Coleman, The Four Season Farm Gardener&rsquos Cookbook.