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This hearty, nutrient-dense sausage kale potato soup with white beans does double duty as comfort food and an immune-boosting one-pot meal. It makes a nice big batch that keeps (and freezes) well.

Sausage Potato Kale Soup | Umami Girl 780-7
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Why we love this recipe

Sausage, potato, kale, and navy bean soup is an instant classic. That’s because, unlike me, it’s not afraid to be everything to everybody. It’s comfort food in a big way. But it’s also hella nourishing, with two whole bunches of kale, beans for days, hearty potatoes, and a literal whole bulb of garlic. It makes a big batch, but it goes quickly. And it’s easy. Yay for soup.

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe.

ingredients in bowls
  • You can buy sweet Italian sausage in bulk (which is easier and usually less expensive) or buy sausage links and remove it from the casings if that’s what you can find. If you’d like a spicier soup, you can use hot Italian sausage. Mexican-style chorizo (which is uncooked — don’t confuse it with Spanish chorizo, a dried sausage) would also be good in this soup without any additional changes.
  • Yukon Gold potatoes or a similar gold-fleshed potato variety have just the right ratio of creaminess to waxiness to starch. They hold their shape beautifully when tender.
  • I like to use navy beans because they’re small, and canned ones tend to have a great texture. You can use any variety of white beans that you’ve got. I often substitute cannellini when I can’t find canned navy beans.
  • I like to use curly kale in this soup, but any variety is fine.

My favorite sources for meat & pantry staples

For years, I’ve been sourcing our meat from ButcherBox. We love this curated meat delivery service, which provides grass-finished beef, heritage breed pork, organic chicken, and more from small farms direct to the customer. You can learn more in my extensive Butcher Box review and unboxing.

I love Thrive Market for a wide variety of products. Often described as one part Whole Foods, one part Costco, they’re a membership-based online market for healthier products at discounted prices. Plus, they’re mission-driven, engaged in the community, and not currently owned by a giant corporation. You can learn more in my Thrive Market review and unboxing.

How to make it

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make a beautiful pot of sausage, kale, and potato soup. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

  1. Brown the sausage and cook it through. If there’s more than a tablespoon or two of fat remaining in the pot, remove it.
  2. Add the onion, celery, garlic, rosemary, chili flakes, salt, and pepper. Cook until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in potatoes and broth. Simmer until everything is tender.
  3. Stir in kale and beans. Cook until kale is tender.
  4. Off the heat, stir in the balsamic vinegar. That’s it!

Expert tips and FAQs

Got any tips for browning sausage?


Sure do.

If you can, buy sausage without a lot of additives (other than spices and seasonings). Some less-fabulous grocery store sausage may release a lot of moisture from the nonsense that’s been added to it and be harder to brown. If this happens, just cook the sausage until it’s about opaque throughout, don’t expect browning, and don’t worry about it.

Heating the pot before adding the meat prevents the sausage from sticking, without the need for additional cooking fat. Sausage has plenty of fat in it, which will start to release right away in a hot pot.

Add the sausage to the pot and begin to break it up into smaller pieces while stirring. Work in phases, stirring and breaking up a bit and then leaving it to brown, repeating this process several times for five minutes or so. Breaking up is hard to do (just kidding, though it’s a bit of a pain at first) but it will get easier as the meat begins to cook.

When the sausage is nicely browned, check to see whether there’s a lot of fat in the pot. Depending on the sausage, sometimes there is, and sometimes there isn’t. If there’s more than a couple of tablespoons, carefully remove and discard it before continuing.

What should I serve with sausage, potato, and kale soup?

To be perfectly honest, this soup needs no accompaniments to make it a complete meal. If you insist, some crusty bread and butter would be nice, or go nuts and make corn muffins. A glass of red wine would not be out of place, either, just sayin.

Can I make this recipe in advance? What about leftovers?

Absolutely. Like most soups, this one only gets better as it sits in the fridge for a couple of days. It will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for a week, and you can freeze it for up to a year.

When you reheat it, you may want to add some more broth — though if it gets more stew-like, you’re welcome to just think of it as a delicious stew.

A few more of our favorite soups

You guys, we LOVE easy, comforting soups. Check out the entire soups archive, browse our Top 20 soup recipes, or try one of these favorites:

Sausage Potato Kale Soup | Umami Girl 780-5

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Sausage Potato Kale Soup | Umami Girl 780-8
4.52 from 31 votes

Sausage, Potato, and Kale Soup

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
This hearty, nutrient-dense soup does double duty as comfort food and an immune-boosting one-pot meal. This recipe makes a big batch and keeps well. Serve it at a small dinner party, for two family dinners during the week, or for a week's worth of not-sad desk lunches. You can freeze half the batch if you like, too.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 8
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Ingredients 

  • 2 pounds (907 grams) bulk sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced small
  • 2 ribs celery, diced small
  • 1 whole head garlic, cloves peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds (907 grams) Yukon gold potatoes, diced (no need to peel)
  • 8 cups 1(900 ml) chicken broth
  • 2 bunches curly kale, stripped from stems and cut int bite-sized pieces
  • 2 15- ounce 425-gram cans navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) balsamic vinegar
  • Grated pecorino or parmesan cheese for serving, optional

Instructions 

  • Set a very large pot over medium-high heat. (I use a 9-quart Dutch oven.)
  • When the pot is hot, add sausage and break up into small pieces. This will get easier as the sausage cooks.
  • Cook, stirring and breaking up frequently, until browned.
  • If there’s a lot of grease in the pot, carefully remove and discard all but about a tablespoon or two with a spoon. (There may not be.)
  • Add onion, celery, garlic, rosemary, chili flakes, salt, and pepper.
  • Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in potatoes and broth.
  • Cover pot and bring to a boil, then lower heat to maintain a brisk simmer and cook until potatoes are just tender, 5 to 10 minutes depending on size.
  • Stir in kale and beans. Cover pot again and simmer until kale is tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Off the heat, stir in balsamic vinegar.
  • Ladle into bowls and serve with grated cheese and freshly ground black pepper to pass at the table, if you like.

Step-by-step video

Notes

  1. If you can, buy sausage without a lot of additives (other than spices and seasonings). Some less-fabulous grocery store sausage may release a lot of moisture from the nonsense that’s been added to it and be harder to brown. If this happens, just cook the sausage until it’s about opaque throughout, don’t expect browning, and don’t worry about it.
  2. Heating the pot before adding the meat prevents the sausage from sticking, without the need for additional cooking fat. Sausage has plenty of fat in it, which will start to release right away in a hot pot.
  3. Like most soups, this one only gets better as it sits in the fridge for a couple of days. It will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for a week, and you can freeze it for up to a year.
  4. When you reheat it, you may want to add some more broth — though if it gets more stew-like, you’re welcome to just think of it as a delicious stew.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 483kcal, Carbohydrates: 61g, Protein: 34g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 43mg, Fiber: 15g, Sugar: 5g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Soups
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

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About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

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