Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Creamy Potato, Sausage, and Kale Soup

Ok, I'll admit it. This soup is based on that Zuppa Toscana soup that you can get endless bowls of at Olive Garden. I will indeed eat endless bowls of that soup, and I have to give it props for introducing me to kale. Here is a healthier take that you won't feel guilty about craving.

I'm sure theirs involves whole milk or heavy cream, while mine has just a few cups of low-fat milk. Sure, it has sausage, but I make up for it health-wise with tons of kale. I love the kale in this recipe. Combined with the creaminess of the potato and saltiness of the sausage and parmesan cheese, it is mild and fresh-tasting. It's the perfect meal for a chilly fall night when all you want to do is eat soup for dinner. Although I am partial to Italian sausage in this soup (and I don't even usually care for it that much), I think this would be a fantastic vegetarian soup if you cut out the sausage. If you do opt out of the sausage, I recommend extra parm to get that salty, umami flavor.

Creamy Potato, Sausage, and Kale Soup

1 lb fresh Italian sausage
2 medium onions, chopped
8 cloves garlic
5 medium russet potatoes, unpeeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 bay leaf
1/2 t thyme
salt to taste
crushed red pepper
black pepper
1 quart chicken stock
1/2 cup water
2 1/2 cups milk
1 lb kale, tough ribs removed, chopped (I like to buy bags of precut kale in the produce section as a timesaver)

Garnish with Parmesan cheese

Remove sausage from casing (if present) and brown in a large pot, breaking into small pieces. Remove and set aside sausage. Saute onion and garlic until tender. Add chopped potatoes and spices and cover with broth and water. Cover and cook for approx 10 min, until potatoes are soft. Add sausage and cook 10 more minutes. Add milk. Once milk simmers, add kale, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Serves 8.

Lasts in the fridge for 4-5 days and freezes well.


  1. Kathy, I made the sausage and kale soup and it was wonderful! Only thing that was not perfect about my soup, was that I curdled the milk at the end. I think I heated it to too high of a temperature. But it was delicious anyway!

  2. Oh no! I've made this soup many times and have never had that happen! Once I add the milk, I watch it until it simmers, and immediately add the kale, and then simmer for 5 minutes. Like you said, I think the key is not heating it too high, and not heating it too long. Glad it was still delicious, though!

  3. I am fondly remembering the day I made this kale soup from Kathy's site when I was Buffalo. I am heavily engaged in massive therapeutic cooking right now at my mother's house in Louisiana. See