I submit this Sausage, Potato and Kale Soup as evidence that I’ve fully committed to soup season. Especially true considering I just made some Roasted Acorn Squash soup last night!
If you’re reading this somewhere hot and sunny, I envy you. Perhaps you’re even still drinking iced coffee! Jealous! Then again, you’re also missing out on one of life’s greatest pleasures… the loving embrace of a warm soup on a cold day.
Who am I kidding? I gladly eat soup year ‘round. Even during the hottest of months!
I didn’t set out with any specific recipe in mind today when I made this Sausage, Potato and Kale Soup, though it does recall rustic versions of Caldo Verde.
On the contrary, it was born like most weeknight meals: with a deep dive into my fridge to see what I had on hand and what was going bad.
Vegetables? The first thing I noticed was a lonely leek lying in the crisper drawer. I could hear it whisper, “make me into soup.” This led me to check on the carrots and celery, both starting to wilt ever so slightly. OK, I thought, we’re almost in business!
What’s this I see? A bag of pre-washed kale that Catalina bought for her morning smoothies? Too bad, so sad. Into the soup it will go! She’ll thank me later.
A quick rummage through the pantry and I discovered a handful of red potatoes, most starting to grow spuds. No worries, I thought, these will do just fine!
Protein? Surely, I needed something to sustain my hunger as the weather dips. Alas, I always keep a well-stocked freezer for exactly such occasions. Italian sausages were sitting in the top drawer! Thank you, past Ronny!
Seasoning? As luck would have it, there was some fresh thyme and parsley in the fridge. I could pair them with some dry bay leaves for earthy tones and some heat from paprika and chile flakes.
So far, so good, I thought. What about liquid? No homemade stock, I’m afraid. I did have a carton of store-bought stuff though.
Boom! We’re off to the races! Happy to report this tasted even better than expected, which is why it often pays off to set the bar low, and everything is Whole30 to boot!
Whole30 Sausage, Potato and Kale Soup
- 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 Italian sausages (spicy, medium or mild), casings removed and discarded
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 2 carrots diced
- 1 leek thinly sliced, substitute 1 yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 1.5 teaspoon sweet Spanish paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried chili flakes optional
- 1.5 quart chicken stock
- 5 small red potatoes cubed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 head kale roughly chopped into ribbons
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley
- Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Using a paring knife, make a shallow incision along the length of the sausage. Peel back the casings and discard them.
- Add the olive oil to the pot and heat until shimmering. Add the sausage and break it apart into 1" pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned all over, around 8 minutes. Reserve the fat in the pan, transfer the sausage to a bowl and set aside.
- Add the celery, carrots and leeks and season with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft and translucent, 10-12 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, 60 seconds. Add the paprika and chile flakes, if using, and cook, stirring, 60 seconds.
- Add the stock, potatoes, browned sausage, bay leaves and thyme and stir to combine. Bring the soup to a simmer, cover with a lid, reduce the heat to medium and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender, 12 to 14 minutes.
- Add the kale and cook 3-4 minutes or until wilted to desired texture. Taste the soup for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper as desired. If the soup is too salty or thick, add ½ cup of water at a time until you reach your desired consistency and taste.
- Add the parsley and stir to combine. Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls and enjoy!