A Rustic Cannellini, Kale and Sausage Soup

Our veggie box has been running over with kale!  Now that can be a good thing, or that can be a bad thing.  I have never eaten much kale. I have never wanted to eat much kale.  But, the idea behind the beautiful, organic vegetables we get each week, is to eat healthy!  And, it seems that lately, it is to eat things that haven't been served at any table where I have eaten, in my lifetime. Maybe it is the area in which I live...nope, the stuff is grown here....maybe it is that as a child I was never served greens. I am thinking that must be it.   There is a vegetable world out there that I have not thoroughly explored!

So, when I was trying to plan our meal and I was determined that I was not driving the ten miles to the grocery store, I came face to face with a hefty amount of kale....there was also some chicken sausage in the freezer and beans in the pantry...it was beginning to look a lot like soup!!

I saw a recipe for Cannellini and Chard in Giuliano Hazan's cookbook, How to Cook Italian, and that served as the springboard for this hearty, delicious soup!

A Rustic Cannellini, Kale and Sausage Soup

1 medium onion, chopped
3 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
3 celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
6-8 cloves garlic, crushed
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
4-6 thick slices bacon, cut into small pieces
3 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
12 oz. chicken sausage, cut into 1/2 inches chunks
1 bunch (about 1 pound) kale, rinsed and stemmed, leaves sliced into 1/2 inch strips or chopped
2 bay leaves, broken in half
1 14.5 oz. can organic fire roasted diced tomatoes
4 cups organic chicken stock
2 cups water
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, divided

Heat two tablespoons olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat, add the chicken sausage.  Cook until browned.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the bacon pieces to the pan and cook over medium heat.  Cook until lightly browned, remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the onion, celery, and carrots to the pan and sauté over medium-low heat.  Stir occasionally, until the vegetables soften and are lightly browned, about 10-15 minutes.

Remove enough rosemary leaves and finely chop to measure 1 teaspoon.  Add the rosemary to the vegetables when they are browned.  Then, stir in the crushed garlic, cook until fragrant, about one minute.

Stir in the stock, water, bay leaves, sausage, bacon, beans, kale and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil then lower the heat so that the soup simmers.  Cover and simmer for 45 minutes; or, place in the oven, which has been pre-heated to 300° F. for the same amount of time.  (I used the oven as then I didn't have to watch over the pot to make certain it maintained a simmer....)

Remove from the oven or stovetop and add the rosemary sprig and if there are any leaves still on the first stem, toss it in also.  Let the soup stand for at least 15 minutes.

Remove the rosemary sprigs and bay leaves.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over the soup in the pot or drizzle a little over individual servings.

Serve with a crusty bread!

I can see that this soup could also be prepared and put in the slow cooker to simmer away on high until I was ready to eat!


We really enjoyed the soup.  It was hearty and hit the spot on this chilly day! 


  1. I started enjoying kale when I began growing it in the garden. My favorite way of using it is just what you did with this soup- the soup is rustic, soulful and comforting.


  2. I love how healthy your soup is with the kale and the chicken sausage. I have to admit that I've only eaten kale a couple of times and once it was fresh from someone's garden. I was surprised how much I liked it. Now I need to get on the bandwagon and include it in some of my soups.

    Thanks for the inspiration and thank you again so very much for your help with the printable recipes. Had it not been for you, I would still be stuck.

  3. This sounds delicious! I followed you over from Facebook and am now the newest follower of your blog.

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  4. I really like hearty soups and this looks like a very good one.

  5. Looks wonderful Kate. I love soups like this that just incorporate what's in the fridge and pantry.

  6. This is a full meal for me:) It's still full winter here!


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