Sausage, White Bean and Kale Soup

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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? Yes please! I hope you give this sausage, white bean and kale soup a try. If you do, leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

Ingredients

Kale

Kale is a leafy veggie we need more of. It boasts high contents of vitamins A, K, and C. One cup of kale actually has more vitamin C than a whole orange. Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet (1). And it contains both soluble and insoluble fibers along with many phytochemicals that may benefit your gut (1). It’s no wonder nutrition experts (including myself) encourage people to eat their dark, leafy greens.

green kale for sausage, white bean and kale soup

Cannelini Beans

The protein in this recipe comes partially from the cannellini beans. As a whole, beans are a very cost-effective protein source. In this recipe, I use canned beans that are drained to elimiate much of the sodium (salt) content. Although you can also use prepared, dried beans if you prefer.

I encourage getting more beans in your diet for the awesome soluble and insolube fiber they contain which is beneficial to gut health and gut bacteria (2).

Beans also contain many nutrients such as phosphorus, potassium, and iron. And according to the USDA’s 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, most of us do not get the recommended daily intake of beans, peas, and lentils each week, which is ~1.5 cups (3).

canned beans for Sausage, White Bean and Kale Soup

Turkey Sausage

In order to reduce the sodium and fat slightly, I tried looking for a decent turkey sausage. I prefer the sweet Italian-style for this soup. One of my main criteria for choosing a good one, is finding one that’s lower in sodium. Try to find one around 200 mg per sausage link.

While you might spend a little more time in the grocery aisle looking at nutrition facts labels, it’s totally worth it once you find one and taste it in this soup. You can even experiment with other types of sausage, like chicken sausage for instance. Or maybe even a vegan sausage.

Sausages are highly processed foods, meaning they are high in fat and sodium (salt). So, it’s important to keep overall intake in your diet to a minimum.

Recent research shows that highly processed foods may be as addictive as smoking (4). That’s pretty darn frightening if you ask me.

Sausages for sausage, white bean and kale soup

The Convenience Factor

This recipe is also convenient, in that it only takes one pot to prepare it in. So, that’s only 1 item to clean up afterwards (not including your bowl and spoon of course).

In addition, there aren’t a whole bunch of ingredients. Just the basics here. I usually always have some chicken stock or broth on hand, along with the canned beans, carrots, and onion. You may only need a special trip for the kale and turkey sausage.

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 in olive oil or even some homemade Addicting Garlic Bread. Yum!

How to Make This Soup

Time needed: 40 minutes.

Making Your Sausage, White Bean and Kale Soup

  1. Brown the sausage.

    Add a little olive oil to the large soup pot, since this is the only kitchen pot you’ll need for this “one-pot” recipe. After taking the casing off of your sausage, add to the pot and make sure to break it up as it cooks. Once fully cooked and crumbled, pieces should be about the size of peas.

  2. Add onions, carrot, and garlic.

    Add the next 3 ingredients and cook until the onion becomes translucent. Don’t’ burn the garlic or it’ll be bitter!

  3. Add next 4 ingredients and simmer.

    Now add the broth, beans, and kale. For real, it’s that easy. Now bring to a low boil until carrots are cooked through and soft.

  4. Top with pepper and Parmesan.

    The final step is pouring your lovely soup into bowls and topping with black pepper and Parmesan cheese to taste. Enjoy!

FAQ

Can I use a different kind of sausage?

Of course you can. Turkey sausage may be unavailable in some grocery stores (usually located where other sausage is kept in the refrigerated case of the meat section). So you can try other types and even flavors of sausage. I’ve tried smoked pork sausage in this recipe and it’s also been delicious. And there are usually a couple different varieties of chicken sausage to choose from. However be mindful that some may be already pre-cooked. In this case you’ll need to SLICE or DICE the sausage in this recipe, not crumble it from a raw state.

Can I make this recipe vegan?

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.

Can I use spinach in place of kale?

While technically you can used spinach if that’s what you have on hand, the 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 spinach will. If swapping out kale for spinach, I’d recommend turning the stove off, then when the soup is still hot, stirring it in immediately prior to serving. You’ll notice how quickly it wilts and cooks down.

Can I use dried beans in place of canned ones?

If that’s what you prefer and have on hand, that works well too. All you need to do is prepare the dried beans ahead of time by placing them in a large pot of water, making sure to cover them completely, and soaking overnight.

Sausage White Bean and Kale Soup

Sausage, White Bean and Kale Soup

A comforting and insanely delicious soup great for the colder months or all year round. This is a great and hearty one-pot meal to make on weekdays for the family as well. It's ready in under 45 minutes. Plus, it makes getting your leafy greens easy peasy!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American, Mediterranean
Servings 8
Calories 136 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 links sweet Italian turkey sausage links such a Jenny-O or Honeysuckle brand, removed from casing
  • 1 ½ cups chopped carrots about 3
  • 1 ⅓ cups chopped yellow onion 1 medium
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 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

Instructions
 

  • Heat large soup pot or stock pot on medium high heat.
  • Remove casings from turkey sausage by cutting a slit along the entire length of sausage and discarding.
  • Add olive oil to stock pot and cook sausage, breaking up in to bite sized pieces until cooked through.
  • Add chopped onion, carrots and garlic. Cook until onions are slightly translucent.
  • Add chicken broth, cannellini beans and chopped kale. Bring to a boil and cook until carrots are tender and kale is wilted.
  • Add pepper and parmesan cheese to taste for serving.

Notes

  • Serve with a nice, crusty, Italian bread drizzled with olive oil.  YUM!
  • Try other types of lower sodium or lower fat sausage to switch things up.
  •  You may use prepared dry beans as well if preferred.
  • Feel free to add in some herbs for extra flavor – try oregano or rosemary!
 
Nutrition Information Per 1 Cup Serving (Makes ~8 servings): 136 calories, 6 gm fat, 1 gm sat. fat, 6 gm carbohydrate, 8 gm protein, 1 gm fiber, 332 mg sodium, 9 mg cholesterol 
Keyword easy, fall, italian sausage, kale, sausage, soup, turkey sausage, white bean, winter

Interested in some other soup recipes?

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