It’s finally getting chilly here in Southern California, which means it’s dipping down to the high-50s at night. It also means it’s soup season, which is my very favorite season of all!
Soup is pretty much our favorite thing to eat, and it’s my favorite thing to cook. Ask my kids what their favorite thing is the mom cooks and they are likely to say Kale Soup! People actually look at them funny but they love my Sausage and Kale Soup. Truth be told, I love all of our soup recipes, but this one that I’m about to share with you, this one is my new favorite.
Because we were moving, I had a month’s worth of clean-out-the-pantry type cooking. I came across these two cans of Cannellini beans, unsure of what to do with them. I knew that I loved beans in soup, but determining what kind of soup was a mystery. During this time we ate dinner at Olive Garden, and I indulged in my favorite Zuppa Tuscana. That’s when inspiration struck and I decided THAT is what I could do with the white beans! They take the place of the potato, the spicy andouille sausage (which is amazing in this soup by the way) would take the place of the Italian sausage.
To say that this soup was perfect would be an understatement. Tender, spicy sausage and creamy white beans complemented by the hearty kale, all swimming in a spicy, rich broth. It’s the ultimate comfort food for a cold, rainy day! Or a hot day in the summer. I would indulge in a bowl of this Sausage and Kale Soup any time of the year.
What’s to love about this White Bean, Sausage and Kale Soup?
The broth is rich and creamy and full of flavor.
It’s made with spicy sausage that adds a real kick in the flavor department.
It’s for super food kale and protein packed white beans.
How to Make Sausage and Kale Soup with White Beans
This is a pretty simple and basic soup recipe, but the flavors are really amazing together.
Grab your favorite soup pot (this Le Creuset Dutch Oven is mine). Set it on the stove and a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat.
Cook some onions with the andouille sausage. If you don’t want the heat you can use plain smoked sausage or Italian sausage.
Add come minced garlic, Italian seasoning and a bay leaf and stir constantly for about a minute, careful not to let the garlic burn.
Add chicken broth and cannellini beans (aka great northern beans or white kidney beans) and bring to a boil. Since the meat is already fully cooked, you don’t need a lot of cooking time. Cover and simmer the soup on low heat for 15-20 minutes. This will help to soften the beans.
Turn off the heat and stir in some half & half. This will give the broth a more creamy taste and texture without thickening the soup. You could leave it out if you want to save some calories. Heavy cream would be a delicious substitute and would make the soup even more rich and delicious.
How to thicken soup
I don’t typically thicken this soup but you can if you like. Actually you can use these methods to thicken just about any soup!
Ladle out about ½ cup of the hot broth into a glass measuring cup and whisk in 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Once the cornstarch is fully dissolved, pour it into the soup and simmer on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes. If you want it thicker, repeat the process.
Another option would be to add 2 tablespoons of flour when you cook the onions and sausage and before adding the broth. Cook the flour for 2-3 minutes, then add the remaining ingredients. The soup will thicken as it boils and simmers.
Sausage and Kale Soup is pretty hearty on it’s own, but a loaf of crusty bread is never a bad call. Homemade Garlic Bread is also quite delicious. Add a big green salad and make it a complete meal. If you want to add a little something to the soup, try some fresh minced parsley and some freshly shredded Parmesan cheese.
What to do with leftovers
Leftover Sausage and Kale Soup should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Reheat carefully in the microwave or on the stovetop (recommended).
If you are planning on freezing this soup, I recommend doing so before adding the cream. Pour the soup into a freezer bag or a container made for the freezer and freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge and heat on the stovetop.
In a large soup pot or dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of olive over medium-high heat. When hot, add onion and sausage and cook until onion is translucent and sausage is browned; about 5-6 minutes. Stir in garlic, Italian seasoning and bay leaf and cook 1 minute.
Pour in chicken broth and cannellini beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat.
Stir in half & half and kale. Taste and add salt and pepper, if desired.
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Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.