This soup is a comforting, one-pot meal. Not only is it super easy to prepare, it is also nutritious. Plus, what an awesome combo! Sausage, white beans, and kale all together in one enticing bowl.
It’s hearty, it’s filling, and it’s just the kind of one-pot dinner you need on chilly fall or winter days.
I hope you give this Tuscan white bean, sausage, and kale soup recipe a try. And if you do, please leave a comment and recipe rating below to let me know what you think. I’d love to hear you’re feedback!
A Few Star Ingredients
What makes this soup recipe shine are a few key ingredients that make a big difference. Let’s take a quick peak at some of these nutrient-dense foods.
In my opinion, kale is a leafy veggie we all need more of. This is because it’s one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. As far a nutrient density, kale is high in:
- Vitamins A, K, and C
- Soluble and insoluble fiber
- Phytochemicals that benefit gut health
It’s no wonder that nutrition experts (including myself) encourage people to eat their dark, leafy greens.
The next ingredient stars are cannellini beans. These provide plant-based protein and carbohydrates. Beans also contain many nutrients such as phosphorus, potassium, and iron.
I also encourage more beans in your diet for the awesome soluble and insoluble fibers they contain and beneficial for gut health. FYI, most of us don’t get enough fiber in our diets. The current 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that women get around 25 grams of fiber each day, while men consume around 30 grams each day.
As a whole, beans are also a very cost-effective protein source. In this recipe, I use canned beans that have been rinsed and drained to eliminate some of the (salt) content. You can also use prepared, dried beans if you prefer.
In order to reduce the total amount of sodium and fat, I opted for turkey sausage. I prefer sweet Italian-style for this soup just because its got all those rustic, herby flavors.
Sausage is a highly processed food which can lead to high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. So, it’s important to keep overall saturated fat and sodium intake in your diet to a minimum.
One of my main criteria for choosing a healthier sausage is finding one that’s lower in sodium. Many store-brand sausage links and ground sausage can easily be greater than 500 mg of sodium per serving!
I was able to find a Jennie-O brand Italian-style turkey sausage that was only 330 mg of sodium per serving. You can also experiment with other types of sausage, like lower sodium chicken or vegan sausage.
The Convenience Factor
This Tuscan white bean, sausage, and kale soup recipe is also convenient. It only takes one pot to prepare it in. So, that’s only one item to clean up afterwards (not including your bowl and spoon of course).
In addition, it includes many basic ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen.
And the recipe is easy to customize. You can make it your own by adjusting the ingredients to your liking. Try some of the suggestions I mention in the “Notes” section of the recipe card and you can eat this soup all year long without it ever getting old.
I personally enjoy it on these cold, fall and winter evenings with a big slice of warm, crusty Italian bread drizzled with olive oil or even some homemade addicting Garlic Bread. Yum!
All fresh ingredients make this recipe healthy and minimally processed. When it comes to soups, which can be very high in sodium, I prefer to make mine homemade. This ensures that you know what’s going into it and how much much sodium you are consuming.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this Tuscan white bean, sausage, and kale soup recipe:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil– I love adding some good olive oil to many of my recipes. Used freely in the Mediterranean diet, olive oil has a bounty of health benefits.
Italian Turkey Sausage– Try to find a low sodium turkey sausage if you can. I used Jennie-O brand Italian turkey sausage which comes in a 16-ounce roll and is 330 mg of sodium per serving.
Onion– Ahh, some aromatics like onion are essential in a white bean and kale soup like this.
Garlic– I add garlic to all my soups and stews. It provides a ton of flavor and has anti-inflammatory properties among other benefits.
Carrots– Add some more color to this rustic soup along with nutrients like vitamin A and beta-carotene.
Cannellini Beans– A great source of plant-based protein, fiber, phosphorus, and iron.
Kale– Common curly kale is used in this recipe however you can use other kinds as well, such as lucinato or Red Russian kale.
Parmesan Cheese– I love topping hearty Italian-style soups and stews with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.
Black Pepper– A sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper to taste and this sausage, kale, and white bean soup is ready to eat!
How to Make Tuscan White Bean Sausage and Kale Soup
With a few simple steps, this rustic white bean and kale soup will be ready in no time. Follow these simple steps and get dinner on the table!
Step 1: Brown the Sausage
Start by adding the extra virgin olive oil to a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Add your raw sausage (or if using sausage in casings, remove the casing), then crumble with a spatula to break it up as it cooks. Once it is fully cooked and crumbled, pieces should be about the size of peas.
Step 2: Add the Aromatics
Next, add the aromatic ingredients. These are the onion, garlic and carrots. Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent. Don’t burn the garlic of it will become bitter!
Step 3: Add All Other Ingredients
Then add the low sodium chicken broth and cannellini beans. Cover your pot and bring the soup to a slow boil until the carrots are tender, then add your kale. Cover your pot again to allow the kale to steam and wilt for about a minute. Once the kale is wilted, it’s time to garnish!
Step 4: Garnish and Enjoy!
Pour your Tuscan white bean, sausage and kale soup into your favorite soup bowl. Then garnish with some Parmesan cheese, freshly cracked black pepper if desired. I also like to serve this with some fresh crusty Italian bread with butter or my Addicting Garlic Bread with Olive Oil.
Storing and Reheating
After preparing this hearty soup, allow it to cool, then store it in airtight containers in your refrigerator for up to 5 days.
To reheat refrigerated soup: On the stovetop, simply pour the soup into a pot over medium heat until heated through. You can also reheat it quickly in the microwave for about 2 minutes- microwave times may vary.
Did I mention this soup also freezes well? It totally does. I like to either ladle the cooled soup into freezer-friendly, airtight containers (leaving enough room for expansion) or storing them in freezer bags that lay flat (again, leaving room for expansion).
Whichever method you choose to freeze your soup, it will keep well for up to 3 months. Don’t forget to label your soup with the date!
To reheat frozen soup: Allow your soup to thaw, then reheat using the stovetop method or microwave method above.
Yes! Italian turkey sausage may be unavailable in some grocery stores. In this case, I encourage you to try other types of meat like lower sodium smoked chicken or turkey sausage or pre-cooked low sodium sausage links which only require slicing or dicing before adding to the soup.
Yes. All you’ll need to swap is 1) vegetable broth for the chicken broth, 2) vegan sausage crumbles for the turkey sausage, and 3) vegan Parmesan cheese for the regular Parmesan cheese.
While you can use spinach, kale is a heartier green. This means it’ll hold up much nicer in the high heat of this soup and not wilt as much or turn mushy like baby spinach will. If swapping out kale for baby spinach, I’d recommend turning the stove off, then adding it while the soup is still hot.
Yes. After rinsing and soaking your beans overnight they can definitely be used in place of canned cannellini beans.
More Hearty Soup Recipes
- Chicken, Kale, and Potato Soup
- Unexpectedly Good Dilly Bean Stew with Cabbage
- One-Pot Spicy Vegan Brunswick Stew
Tuscan White Bean, Sausage, and Kale Soup Recipe
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound sweet Italian turkey sausage such a Jennie-O or Honeysuckle brand
- 1⅓ cups carrots peeled and chopped (about 3 whole carrots)
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 3 Tbsp minced garlic
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 14.5 oz can cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 6 oz kale thick ribs removed, chopped (about 1 bunch)
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Shredded parmesan cheese optional, for serving
- Heat large soup pot or stock pot over medium high heat.
- Add olive oil to stock pot and cook the turkey sausage, breaking it up into bite-sized pieces until cooked through.
- Add chopped onion, carrots, and garlic. Cook until the onions are slightly translucent.
- Add chicken broth, cannellini beans, and chopped kale. Simmer until carrots are tender and kale is wilted.
- Serve with freshly ground black pepper and parmesan cheese.
- Serve with a nice, crusty, Italian bread drizzled with olive oil. YUM!
- Try other types of low sodium or low fat sausage to switch things up. Slices of smoked chicken or turkey sausage also work well in this recipe.
- You can also use raw sausage by first removing the casings and crumbling the sausage with a spatula as it cooks.
- You may use prepared dry beans as well if preferred.
- Feel free to add in some herbs for extra flavor – try oregano or rosemary!
Share with me: Did you try this white bean kale and sausage soup? What did you think of the flavors? Leave a comment and let me know. 🥰
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Kiran Campbell is a registered dietitian and entrepreneur with 13 years of experience. She has a degree in psychology as well as dietetics. She is also a proud member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ and its Cardiovascular Health and Well-being Dietetics Practice Group among others. Kiran proudly presents and promotes the most up-to-date, science-based nutrition information on all things heart-related. She aims to serve not only individuals with heart disease, but also those wanting to protect against it. Learn more about Kiran by visiting her About Page.