Kale and Chicken Sausage Soup

Back in the olden days, when I had time to cook, my family called me “Kelley Crocker”. Yeah I know- corny. I don’t think I’m a great cook, but I do love cooking. Since being on bedrest, I’ve been out of the kitchen for a while. My cooking was limited to BLTs and egg salad (pregnancy cravings) at lunch time, and dinner was just whatever was in the fridge or pantry that wouldn’t take too long, because my poor husband had to cook after a long day at work.

Now that I can plan on at least one long nap for the girls each day, I’m able to plan our meals a little more and even have some time to prep; so I’m slowly working my way back into the kitchen.

Charlie and I are both huge fans of soup no matter what time of year it is. Richmond was pretty much shut down for our 8 inches of snow yesterday so it was a perfect day for a wintery soup. All we needed was a nice fire to cozy up next to…which would have also been nice Saturday night when we lost power in the frigid cold and ended up in a hotel for a family staycation. Next house must have- fireplace.

Anyway, back to the food. This soup was made for us by a friend from church and I asked her for the recipe. I’ve since made it a few times as well as passed it along to my parents and in-laws and it has been a hit. Like most recipes, I changed a few things from the original but it was adapted from this recipe. Enjoy!


  • 1/2 lb. chicken sausage (about 3 large links)
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • One-half small yellow onion, cut into small dice
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into small dice
  • 2 ribs celery, cut into small dice
  • 5 large cloves garlic, minced (about 2 Tbs.)
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 15.5 oz can cannellini or white kidney beans, rinsed and drained, or 2 cups cooked dried beans
  • 1/2 lb. gold potatoes, peeled and chopped (about 4 small)
  • 1 lb. kale, rinsed, stems removed, leaves torn into bite-size pieces (8 cups firmly packed)
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest

Chop chicken sausage into small pieces. Heat 2 Tbs. of the olive oil in a 4- or 5-quart heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a plate.

Add the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil to the pot, increase the heat to medium high, and add the onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the carrot and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to soften and brown, about 2 minutes more. Stir in the garlic, pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add the chicken broth, be sure to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan, and bring to a boil over high heat.

When the broth reaches a boil, reduce the heat to medium, add the sausage along with any collected juices, potatoes, and half the beans. Mash the remaining beans with a fork or wooden spoon and add them to the pot, stirring to distribute. Stir in the kale, adjust the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, and simmer until the kale and potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and lemon zest and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Join the Conversation


  1. Dear Kell Crocker
    This looks delicious and I am so glad your twinsies are doing so well and even sleeping longer! I will have to give this recipe a try! Keep up the good work!
    Becky Home-Ecky

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