This hearty, nutrient-dense sausage, potato, and kale soup with navy 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.
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.
Sausage soup ingredients
Here's what you'll need to make this soup:
- Sweet Italian sausage. You can buy this 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.
- Lots and lots of garlic
- Fresh rosemary (substitute a teaspoon of dried rosemary or thyme if you don't have fresh rosemary)
- Red chili flakes (you can leave these out if you use hot Italian sausage or chorizo)
- Salt and pepper
- Yukon gold potatoes
- Broth (Chicken or good veggie broth work equally well. For the photos I used one box of each.)
- Tons of curly green kale
- Navy beans (or another small white bean)
- Balsamic vinegar
- Grated cheese, if you like, for serving
Our favorite sources for meat
For years, we’ve been sourcing our meat from Butcher Box. 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 our extensive Butcher Box review and unboxing.
More recently, we've also become big fans of Cooks Venture for chicken.
How to make this easy soup recipe
Here's what you'll do to make this one-pot soup recipe in about 45 minutes. You can see all the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post.
- First you'll heat up a very big pot. Heating the pot first 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. You'll 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, you'll 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. A note about browning: 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.
- Then you'll stir in the onion, celery garlic, rosemary salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes or so, until the veggies have softened.
- Then you'll add diced potatoes (no need to peel them — the peel has lots of nutritional value) and broth, cover the pot, and simmer until the potatoes are just tender.
- You'll add kale galore and beans cover the pot again and simmer until the kale is tender.
- Off the heat, stir in the balsamic vinegar, and the soup is ready to eat!
How long will this soup last?
Not very long, if your household is anything like mine, where it disappeared in under 24 hours. But like most soups, this one only gets better as it sits in the fridge for a couple of days. It will stay good tightly covered in the fridge for about a week, and you can freeze it almost indefinitely. 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.
What to 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.
A few more of our favorite soups
- 2 pounds bulk sweet Italian sausage
- 1 large yellow onion, diced small
- 2 stalks celery, diced small
- 1 whole head garlic, cloves peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt (if broth is unsalted)
- ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, diced (no need to peel)
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 2 bunches curly kale, stripped from stems and cut int bite-sized pieces
- 2 15-ounce cans navy beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Grated pecorino or parmesan cheese for serving, optional
- Set a very large pot over medium-high heat. (We used 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, salt, chili flakes and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in potatoes and broth. Cover pot 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.
If you like, add more broth to thin reheated soup.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 483Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 43mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 15gSugar: 5gProtein: 34g