As we start to head out of winter months and move into rainy days spent waiting for the daffodils to bloom, sometimes I need a warm bowl of soup to comfort me. Now the ever popular tomato soup or chili might entice some people, but my favorite warm bowl is this Tuscan white bean, sausage, and kale soup. My mother use to make this and it has stuck with me!
The fun part about this soup is that it is so versatile! You can substitute the kale for escarole or any hearty leafy green. The sausage can be substituted for kielbasa, ground chicken/ turkey, or you can leave out the meat all together and make it a meatless meal… but who wants to do that 😉 sorry all you vegetarians out there.
With the addition of the white beans, there is a creamy texture that comes through and compliments the other elements of the soup. I added some carrots because I had them in my crisper. See, versatile!
The base of this soup is chicken stock (can use vegetable stock), sautéed garlic and onions, kielbasa, torn kale and then finished off with white beans. You can add any additional vegetables you may want but I would stick to heartier/ firmer vegetables so they hold up against the other flavors.
The best part is that you can make a double batch easily. For people like me who are cooking for one, you can freeze the leftovers and enjoy them anytime! This soup freezes perfectly and is just as good warmed up as it tastes the first go round. Pair with a couple pieces of crusty bread and eat up!
If you love soups and stews as much as I do, these recipes are for you!
Tuscan White Bean, Sausage, and Kale soup
- One package of kilbasa (4 links) or a package or ground sausage of your choice (I like the sweet Italian sausage) sliced thin
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- 1 medium onion minced
- 5 carrots cleaned and chopped
- 2 containers of chicken stock (32oz. each)
- One bunch of Kale, or leafy green like escarole
- 1-2 cans of white beans, not rinsed
- Brown the sausage in a big pot. I used my 2 qt. Le Creuset. Make sure its big enough to hold all the soup. (especially if your doubling the recipe)
- Add in the onions and any extra vegetables and stir till soft (I added carrots to this particular recipe).
- Throw in the garlic at the last minute and cook until fragrant.
- Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock (a fancy way of saying add in the chicken stock and scrape all the little brown bits off the bottom of the pan. That’s where you develop a lot of flavor during cooking).
- Once the soup comes to a boil, add in the washed kale and cook down for 3-5 minutes until tender.
- Add in the canned beans last, season with salt and pepper.
Viola! The soup is ready- Toast some country bread to sop up the juices and enjoy!
- By not straining the beans, you are adding a silkiness to the soup. You can even mash a cup of them and add that in at the end to create more of that creaminess.
- This is a rustic soup so don’t worry about fine dicing or chopping, just have fun with it!
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