Main Dishes

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.

Lydia’s Sausage Kale Soup
Recipe Type: Soup
Author: Jo-Lynne Shane
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
Delicious and nutritious soup perfect for cold winter evenings.
  • olive oil or bacon grease for sautéing
  • 1 lb sausage or kielbasa
  • 2 15-oz cans organic white beans
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and diced small
  • 4 stalks celery, diced small
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 quarts beef stock
  • 1 wedge of parmesan rind
  • 1 bunch kale, de-ribbed and minced
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 TBSP minced fresh thyme
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter (optional)
  • fresh grated parmesan for sprinkling on finished soup (optional)
  1. Prepare sausage and set aside. I usually remove it from the casing, crumble and cook in a couple TBSP bacon grease or olive oil. You can also grill it and then slice or dice.
  2. Heat 2 – 3 TBSP oil or bacon grease in a large stock pot over medium heat. (You can use the same pot and leftover grease from the sausage, if you did the crumble method; in this case, you will want to remove the sausage and return it to the soup at the end.)
  3. Sauté the onions for 5 minutes or until soft; add carrots and celery and cook another 5 – 7 minutes until veggies are tender. You may need to reduce the heat to medium-low or low, depending on your stove.
  4. Add the kale and garlic and cook another 2 – 3 minutes.
  5. Add the stock, wedge of parmesan and the rosemary.
  6. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 – 30 minutes.
  7. Add the thyme, sausage and butter; stir gently until the butter is melted.
  8. Remove the parmesan rind from the soup; salt and pepper to taste. Serve with freshly grated parmesan on top.



Join the Conversation

24 thoughts on “Sausage Kale Soup

  1. I made this last week when you suggested it on your menu plan. The kids were not crazy about it, but my husband and I loved it! I even sent some leftovers to my inlaws and they said it was great! I did use the parmesan rind and it added such a nice flavor, but I substituted dried herbs like you did.

  2. You are so funny JL! Glad you liked it! And yes, you don’t know what you are missing with the butter. (remember eating more animal fats helps you go poo! hee hee!) Plus doesn’t butter just make everything better! Two out of my 4 kids loved this, my two pickier eaters – well, I’ll just keep workin’ on ’em!

  3. Another recipe to add to my list and soups are easy too and anything that can make 2 or 3 meals is even better. And kale is so good for you too – I love being able to sneak in the good stuff.

  4. My husband just informed me that he could eat soup every day of the week during winter. I’m thinking I might have to up my soup repertoire. 🙂 I actually like kale so I’m going to give this a try. We love your cookie corn muffin recipe so that might help the kids enjoy this meal. 🙂 Thanks!

    1. I think you could put anything you like in it. Do you eat ground beef? Might be better than chicken, but honestly, I don’t think you can go wrong with either. Would probably use all chicken stock with chicken.

  5. I make this Greek Tortellini soup that has spinach in it that I bet y’all would love. It is very yummy and a good use for extra chicken. I’m going to try to post it one day this month. I’ll let you know when I get it up. One of the reasons it is awesome is that there isn’t a whole lot of chopping and it is done super quick.

  6. I just started down the road to real foods and so excited about all your recipes! I just posted today about kale and how I am growing to love it. I can’t wait to try this soup, it looks yummy!

  7. I made this last week and it was a huge hit with my husband and five kids… we all loved it! I’m thinking about trying it with chicken sausage and chicken broth rather than beef.. the recipe just went into my permanent binder!

  8. Hi Jo-Lynne, I tried to reply to this last night on my tablet, but I don’t see the reply – maybe I’m doing it wrong on there. It had me comment via Blog Frog?

    What I wanted to tell you is I worry about the BPA in cans too but use a lot of beans and tomatoes in cooking. Eden Organics makes beans and tomatoes in BPA free cans! You can get them at Whole Foods or order in cases from Amazon! Yay!

  9. Made this last night – yummy! I only used half the beans though as we’re trying to be low-carb at the moment, but I still wanted some in there to keep it nice and hearty! I did use 1/2 stick of butter in it and it was delicious! Thanks for sharing (shared it on my FB wall ’cause I know some of my friends will want to make it too)! 🙂

  10. There are some interesting points in time in this article but I don’t know if I see all of them center to heart. There is some validity but I will take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBurner as well

  11. Sounds yummy but my boys wouldn’t eat it because of beans. I do make a similar version for them & instead of beans I put brown rice & quinoa. Try it , seems to be a hit around here & is actually our dinner for tonite! Good with corn bread muffins😊

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