Sausage & Kale Soup

$8.45 recipe / $1.05 serving

It’s once again the season of warm, hearty soups and you can’t get much heartier than this one! With Italian sweet sausage, tons of veggies, beans, and hearty kale, this soup has a little bit of everything. It’s sure to make you belly warm, full, and happy.

You can also make this vegetarian by adding a second (or maybe even a third?) can of beans instead of the sausage, and swapping the chicken base for a vegetable base. Also, you’ll probably want to double up on the herbs and spices since the Italian sausage is well seasoned and added a LOT of flavor.

This soup comes together easily and is perfect for freezing. So, stock your freezer now for those chilly winter days ahead when you don’t feel like going to the grocery!

Sausage & Kale Soup

Sausage Kale Soup

5.0 from 2 reviews

Sausage & Kale Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Total Cost: $8.45
Cost Per Serving: $1.05
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.11
  • 1¼ lbs. sweet Italian Sausage $4.18
  • 1 medium yellow onion $0.72
  • ½ lb. carrots $0.39
  • ½ bunch celery $0.79
  • 1 tsp minced garlic $0.08
  • 1 bunch kale $0.99
  • 1 (15 oz.) can white beans $0.92
  • 2 tsp chicken or vegetable base $0.14
  • 6 cups water $0.00
  • ½ tsp oregano $0.03
  • ½ tsp cumin $0.03
  • pinch crushed red pepper (optional) $0.02
  • to taste salt & pepper $0.05
Instructions
  1. Squeeze the sausage out of the casings and cook over medium heat, along with the olive oil, in a large pot. Break up the sausage into pieces and cook until no pink remains.
  2. While the sausage is cooking, dice the onion, peel and slice the carrots, and slice the celery. When the sausage is fully cooked, add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Stir and cook until the onions are soft.
  3. While the vegetables are softening, take the opportunity to slice the rest of the carrots and celery and package them to freeze (they’ll be ready for your next soup!). Pull the kale leaves from the stems and tear into small pieces. Place the torn kale leaves in a colander and rinse well. Once the onions in the pot have softened (the other veggies may not be soft, that’s okay), add the kale. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes or until the kale is wilted.
  4. Drain the can of beans and add them to the pot. Also add the chicken base, water, oregano, cumin, red pepper, and black pepper. Stir to combine and heat through (about 10-15 minutes). Taste the soup and adjust the salt and other seasonings if necessary (I added about ½ tsp of salt). Serve hot with crusty bread!

 

sausage & kale soup

Step By Step Photos

Italian SausageThis is the Italian sausage that I used. I usually like to use the turkey Italian sausage but the grocery store was out of stock. Booo.

brown sausageBrown the sausage along with 1 Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. This should take about 5-10 minutes.

prepare vegetablesWhile the sausage is doing its thing, prepare the vegetables. I used one onion, half of the package of carrots, and half of the bunch of celery… the rest will not go to waste.

miropoixOnce the sausage is fully cooked, add the sliced and chopped vegetables. I also added the garlic at this point (mine was pre-minced). Cook until the onions are softened (about 10 minutes).

left over vegetablesWhile the vegetables are cooking with the sausage, go ahead and slice up the rest of the carrots and celery. Pop them into freezer bags, label, and toss them in the freezer. The next time you want to make soup, they’ll be ready to go! …and they won’t end up wilted and moldy in the bottom drawer of your refrigerator.

prepare kaleAlso use that time to prepare the kale. Kale is really easy to prep, you don’t even need a knife. Just tear the curly leaves off of the tough stems and then tear them into bite sized pieces. Place the torn leaves in a colander and rinse really well.

cooked vegetablesSo, by this point the vegetables in the pot have softened a bit. The carrots and celery won’t be very soft but that’s okay because you don’t want them to be mush by the end. As long as the onions look a little transparent, you’re good to go.

add kaleAdd the cleaned kale leaves and stir and cook until they’re wilted (about 5 minutes). If the pot is too full to stir it, place a lid on top and let the steam wilt them for a few minutes before you try to stir. They’ll shrink down to a manageable size.

wilted kaleAnd this is what it will look like once the kale is wilted. It only takes a few minutes.

add beansDrain the can of beans and add them to the pot…

add stock and seasoningNext, add 6 cups of water, 2 tsp chicken base, and the seasonings (oregano, cumin, red pepper, black pepper). Usually 6 cups of water would require about 2 *tablespoons* of base but the sausage and plethora of vegetables in this soup make their own flavorful stock and I found that I didn’t need to add as much chicken base. You will probably need to add salt. Heat the soup all the way through (10-15 min) and *then* taste it and add salt as needed (probably about 1/2 tsp). Always add salt last.

sausage and kale soupAhhh, so good, so filling, and SO packed with nutrients that it’s not even funny.

sausage and kale soupThis soup just begs for a good, crusty bread to soak up that delicious broth.

Have I mentioned how much I love kale? I do. A lot.

28 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Sounds delicious! Can’t wait to try it!

    But about freezing the carrots and celery… I guess I was always under the impression you had to blanch them or something before freezing. Does it work well to freeze them raw?

  2. I just freeze mine raw and then make sure to use them within a couple of months. Blanching stops the enzymatic action that makes them start to decompose, which they’ll still do in the freezer, just at a slower pace. But, blanching seems like a lot of work so I just freeze ‘em raw and remember to use them up :)

  3. Do you think this would work well with regular Italian sausage? I can buy that without casings and I prefer not to squeeze them out.

  4. D*mmit! Where was this recipe when I had some kale the other week?? And I have to remember that tip to dice and freeze the carrots and celery! I have some in the fridge from when I needed them for another dish.

  5. Unknown – Yep, you can use any type of Italian sausage!

  6. Yum! I just made a similar soup a few days ago. It’s finally that time of year! They have already stopped selling kale at our market, so I just used some baby spinach. Thanks for the great recipes!

  7. This is one of my favorite soups to make in the winter. And that is such a great idea to just pre-chop and freeze the rest of the vegetables (which I never end up using in time.) I do however buy bags of frozen kale to use during the winter months bc I make so much soup and then I always have it on hand.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Making this right now, used turkey sausage and chicken stock instead of the water, chopped in some chipotle pepper in adobo sauce during the browning process of the sausage, added 3 sliced (seeds in) jalapenos into the veggie mixed and topped it off with some ground cayenne. I may have an addiction to heat…

    Oh yeah… I skipped the beans. not a fan of beans.

    All in all yummers!! Thanks for the great idea.

  9. after looking at this, i literally asked my sis. Should we have some soup tonight?

  10. Wow! We must be on the same wavelength…I just made a very similar recipe a couple days ago to post on my blog! The only real difference is that mine doesn’t have the beans or carrots, and it has half and half added to make a creamy broth (just like the olive garden zuppa toscana!). I served it with your amazing no-knead foccacia, will be posting a modified recipe of that also and linking back to you of course :)

  11. Casey says:

    I’m making this tonight! However, I am a soup novice… I’m wondering, may I use bouillon cubes instead of the chicken base? And if so, how many cubes? Its just that I have the cubes on hand, so don’t want to buy another ingredient if possible. Let me know what you think!

  12. Casey – yes, you can use the cubes! Usually it’s one small cube per cup of water (check the package) but I found that I didn’t need that much because of all of the other flavors going on in the soup. So, I would suggest starting out with half the number of cubes that the package suggests for the 6 cups of water in the recipe. If you need more, you can always add more later. I found that I just needed a little salt rather than more base.

  13. Anonymous says:

    This was the easiest and most delicious soup I’ve made in a while. Swapped out pork sausage for chicken sausage, but still just as good! Thank you.

  14. I just made this for dinner tonight & followed the recipe to a T (found Sweet Italian Turkey sausage!) It was so yummy. My daughter helped tear and wash and add the kale, which was nice because I’m trying to get the kids to try new stuff. ;) I was hesitant to try this soup, because it’s unlike anything I’ve made before. I’m so glad I did! I also wasn’t sure about the beans, but they were perfect in the soup. It was a fun soup to make, and a tasty one to eat & I felt great after dinner: warm and full, but still fresh and healthy. Thanks so much for posting!

  15. A hearty winter soup recipe with kale, white beans, and roasted carrots, butternut squash, tomatoes, onions, and garlic. Yummy!

  16. Helena says:

    Well, I kinda screwed this one up, but it was still delicious! I was already well into the recipe when I realized I didn’t have kale in the fridge anymore and the beans were dry (not canned, like I thought).

    Regardless, I chugged along using a bag of frozen spinach in place of the kale. The beans are soaking on the countertop overnight tonight and I’ll add them in the morning. Regardless, though, a wonderful bowl of soup! Fresh and warm, but still light. Yet another Budget Bytes keeper.

  17. Mitch says:

    I just finished cooking this soup and I really like the tast! Also, the recipes made me try cooking with kale for the first time of my life and guess what? I will be cooking with kale more often in the future :)
    Thank you very much for posting!

  18. I just realized how much this recipe reminds me of your Lentil & Sausage Stew recipe…but with slight modifications! I love the lentil stew, so this may end up being a great dish to make…

  19. Anonymous says:

    I put together the ingredients in my crock pot Tuesday night. Execpt the canned white beans. Put the crock part in the fridge. Took it out yesterday morning and turned on the slow cooker as I was going to work. When I got home yummy smelling goodness hit my nose before I opened the door! I added the bean turn off the pot and let them sit for a bit. Fantastic! I had enough chopped veggies I froze them for next time. Plus I put the left overs in bowls and froze them.

  20. Super yummy! Definitely a keeper. I just posted my slightly altered version on my blog and linked back to yours. :)

    http://www.mspimama.com/2011/11/sausage-and-kale-soup.html

  21. Beth, thanks for another fantastic recipe!! EVERYone in the family loved it — even my husband who’s not generally a fan of soup! ;)
    I’d like to feature your blog as my “Friday Feature” post if you don’t mind (if I could, I’d like to include a picture of the soup)….I think my readers would love to discover your great recipes! =)

    ~ Mara @ Super Savings

  22. I just made this, mostly because I’m horrible at eating veggies, but really like Kale in soup. My mother and i tweaked it a bit, adding shelled edamame instead of white beans.
    this was SO good.
    thanks for sharing such an easy and yummy recipe :>>

  23. Anonymous says:

    This was delicious! Even on a 90 degree day! Plus you can’t go wrong with Kale. :-)

  24. Kari Anne says:

    This was tasty!! Fall has been in the air and I wanted to make a yummy soup. It was perfect, thankyou!

  25. I wanted to make a vegetarian version of this recipe, so I added ditalini pasta, thyme, and used vegetable stock for broth. Turned out like a pasta e fagioli recipe! Do you think it would it also be good with diced tomatoes?

  26. Hannah says:

    Didn’t have kale, so I used cabbage instead and it turned out awesome! Delicious, easy and healthy soup.

  27. This isn’t just my favorite soup recipe (it is) — it’s a candidate for one of my favorite recipes of all time. I swear it’s got healing properties or something.

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