Sausage and Kale Soup

My spouse and I absolutely love this soup. It’s savory and meaty with a hint of spiciness that makes you crave more. The original recipe is from the Whole30 Instagram page. When I did Whole30 almost a year ago, I often searched for recipes to get ideas about what foods I could make. This soup was definitely my best find. Despite being Whole30, this is one of my spouse’s favorite meals! Seriously, I make this meal at least once a month. I use mirepoix (onion, celery, and carrot) along with the sausage and kale, but any vegetables hearty enough for soup will work. Pair with a thick slice of bread, or omit if sticking to Whole30.

Cooking Time: 30 mins
Servings: 4 

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Spicy Italian Sausage
  • Olive Oil (enough to coat pot)
  • 1/2 White or Yellow Onion
  • 3-4 Carrots
  • 2 Celery Stalks
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • 3 cups of Chicken Broth
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp Dried Basil
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 5-6 Stalks of Kale
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)

Recipe

  1. Heat a large pot on medium heat with olive oil, enough to coat the bottom. Meanwhile remove sausage from casing and roll into meatballs (almost golf ball size).
  2. When the pot is heated, place the meatballs in the pot in an even layer. Cook for 8 minutes, flip with tongs, and cook another 5 minutes. Remove meatballs to a plate, keeping the drippings in the pot.
  3. Dice the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic cloves. Add everything but the garlic to the pot and cook until the onion is translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  4. Add the chicken broth to the pot. Increase the heat to high until the broth boils, then reduce to medium high.
  5. Immediately after reducing the heat, add the oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, and cooked meatballs. Continue cooking for 5 minutes on medium high.
  6. Remove the kale from the stalk and roughly chop. Add the kale to the pot and cook for 1-2 minutes more until the kale is wilted.
  7. Crack the eggs into a small bowl or cup and scramble with a fork. Once the kale is wilted, turn off the heat and slowly add the scrambled eggs, stirring constantly. The eggs will cook into thin ribbons from the heat of the soup.
  8. Add lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve in a bowl with a thick slice of bread.

Detailed Steps

Step 1: Hot Italian sausage is my go-to sausage for this recipe because it adds a nice level of heat to the soup along with the red pepper flakes. However, if you’re not a fan of spicy foods (FYI, I would say this soup is slightly spicy), then substitute mild Italian sausage. The pictures above show how I remove the sausage from the casing. Basically pinch one end of the link and squeeze the meat out. Then roll into balls! Super simple way to make quick meatballs.

Step 1: A picture of the size of the meatballs (again, almost golf ball sized).

Step 2: Be sure to place the meatballs in an even layer on the bottom of the pot. If they’re stacked on top of each other, they won’t brown properly. Ideally you should only put enough meatballs in the pot so that they’re barely touching, but I’ll admit, I will crowd my pan if that means not having to cook two batches. Make sure to cook the meatballs long enough to have a good crust, like the picture on the right. Also, don’t worry if they are on the rare side; the meatballs will cook more when you add them back in the soup.

Step 3: To make this recipe even simpler, I often buy pre-cut mirepoix mix from my local grocery store. Then I don’t have to bother with chopping onions, celery, and carrots, and I won’t have a bunch of leftover carrots and celery stalks! Be sure to wait to add the garlic to avoid it being burned (see the picture on the right).

Steps 4-5: On the left is the soup right when the stock is added, and on the right is after the meatballs and spices are added. If you do not like spicy foods at all, reduce the amount of red pepper flakes or omit entirely.

Step 6: The stalks of kale are very tough and should be removed. To separate the kale from the stalk, curl your hand like a claw and place the top of the stalk between your middle and index finger (picture on left). Then slide your hand down, gripping the top of the stalk with your other hand, until the kale rips off in your hand (picture in middle). After separating, roughly chop the pile of kale to cut into smaller pieces (picture on right).

Step 7: The GIF above shows how the eggs are added. Be sure to remove the soup from heat before adding the eggs, and to keep stirring while the eggs are added. The residual heat from the soup will slowly cook the eggs into thin strips, similar to egg drop soup.

Step 8: All done! Serve in a bowl with a slice of thick bread or by itself!

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