This Italian Sausage Soup is really the perfect meal any time of year.
When it’s a cloudy, rainy, damp day here in the Sunshine State, it's an especially good time for a large pot of homemade soup.
But I don't want just any kind of soup; it has to be a hearty soup, with lots of vegetables and beans, and always with my one “special ingredient” to give it depth and amazing flavor.
That extra umami flavor comes from the rind from a large rind of aged parmesan cheese. So good!
I make big pots of delicious soup throughout the year. Even on the hottest of summer days, my whole family loves a meal of soup and bread.
Just tonight, we had a crazy thunderstorm. Nothing would have gone better with that weather than this sausage kale white bean soup and a loaf of crusty bread!
And when those temperatures drop, nothing makes you feel warm inside like a bowl of soup on chilly evenings. It’s one of my favorite things at the end of a long day.
That taken care of feeling just wraps around you, doesn't it? And who doesn’t love having a big pot on the stove simmering away, teasing you with the savory smell, just pulling you in enough to start craving it before it’s even dinnertime?
What You Need to Make It
I love the fresh ingredients in this soup!
Using chicken sausage is just a healthier option and the flavor works really well as it doesn't overpower the rest of the ingredients.
Mild Italian Sausage works well, too.
White beans are so versatile and add depth. We used Cannellini beans, but you could use any white beans. Great Northern beans or Navy beans would both work well. If using dried beans, be sure to soak them overnight first.
I started using fennel a lot after making this roasted chicken and vegetables. My family loves it now so I'm always looking for ways to add it to dishes. This is a great recipe to try it out on your family!
It's taken a while to convince my family that nutritious kale can be delicious! Lacinato Kale is simply Italian kale. It got a rich flavor and the color is typically a very deep green.
My family asks for this Kale and Sweet Potato Bowl regularly now. This is a great way to get your Vitamin A, Vitamin K, folic acid, and omega-3 fatty acid.
Adding the rind of a piece of parmesan cheese to this sausage kale white bean soup will give the broth an amazing umami flavor. You may have tossed that hard rind in the past, but no more! Save it to add to soup and you'll never go back!
These ingredients together with carrots, potatoes, garlic, onion, butter, chicken broth, kosher salt, and black pepper make a soup your family will be asking for again and again.
Scroll down to the recipe card for the full list of ingredients and instructions.
How to Make Italian Sausage Soup
Preheat oven to 375º.
Step 1: Add all vegetables except kale, along with garlic, to a 9x12 baking dish.
Step 2: Distribute butter throughout the vegetables. Stir with a wooden spoon.
Step 3: Season with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
Step 4: Place sausage in a smaller baking dish.
Step 5: Bake both vegetables and sausage for one hour, until vegetables are soft and sausage is cooked through. Stir vegetables and turn sausage halfway through cooking time.
Step 6: Take veggies out of the oven, leaving sausage in the oven to brown on top rack for about 10 minutes, turning after 5 minutes.
Step 7: Add vegetables, chicken stock, and white beans to a stock pot or large dutch oven and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to medium heat.
Step 8: Slice sausage into bite-sized pieces and add to soup along with the Parmesan rind.
Step 9: Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add kale, stirring until just wilted. Remove the cheese rind with a slotted spoon.
Serve this sausage kale white bean soup with optional freshly grated cheese and a crusty baguette, or make this rosemary garlic bread.
A robust Pinot Noir or white wine like Pinot Gris pairs well with this soup.
When reheating this soup the next day, I like to add extra kale leaves. The kale withers away in the soup, and adding more will really freshen the flavor of this soup.
You can do so much to change up this soup, you could have it a couple of times a month and make it a little different each time!
Instead of chicken sausage links, try ground chicken, turkey sausage, or hot Italian sausage if you like spice.
Switch up the vegetables. Butternut squash, sweet potato, parsnips, and other hearty veggies would be delicious in this soup.
Instead of butter, use olive oil.
A splash of heavy cream will give this soup a whole new flavor and creamier consistency.
Top the soup with fresh basil or fresh parsley to give it a boost of flavor at the end. Just a pinch will do as you don't want to overpower the other flavors.
You can use pork sausage or sweet Italian sausage, but the pork flavor can tend to overpower the other flavors. The chicken sausage has a milder flavor. If you like spice, you could also use spicy Italian sausage and add a dash of red pepper flakes.
You could use Gruyere or Manchego cheese. Just make sure you are using a block of cheese rind. You would not want to stir in a lot of shredded cheese as we're only looking for flavor, not to make a cheese-based soup.
You could choose from so many different vegetables! Just make sure they are hard veggies like sweet potatoes, butternut squash, leeks, or corn. Softer veggies like zucchini or yellow squash might get lost in the soup.
You can store this soup in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. It never lasts that long in my house. You can also freeze the soup for 2-3 months.
A heavy pot like this cast iron dutch oven is perfect for making soup. It's hard to believe a pot can be a game changer, but it was for me!
Add softer veggies toward the end. Don't rush and add everything at the same time.
Taste one more time before serving and remember to remove the cheese rind!
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If you love this recipe (and I really think you will!) it would mean so much to me if you could take a second and give it a 5-star rating! Thank you!
Chicken Sausage Kale White Bean Soup
- 1 Fennel Bulb chopped into bite sized pieces
- 5 Carrots chopped into bite sized pieces
- ½ Yellow Onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 4 Russet Potatoes cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoons Black pepper
- 4 tablespoons Butter cut into squares
- 1 lb Chicken Sausage 4-5 large links
- 8 cups Chicken Stock
- 2 cans Great Northern Beans 15.8 oz cans, rinsed well
- 1 bunch Italian Kale fresh, ribs removed, leaves torn small
- ½ oz Parmesan Rind
- Pre-Heat oven to 375.
- Add all vegetables except kale, along with garlic, to a 9x12 baking dish.
- Dot with small pieces of butter.
- Season with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- Place sausage in a smaller baking dish.
- Bake both vegetables and sausage for one hour, until vegetable are soft and sausage is cooked through.
- Take veggies out of the oven, leaving sausage in oven to brown on top rack for about 10 minutes, turning after 5 minutes.
- Add vegetables, chicken stock, and white beans to a stock pot or large dutch oven and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to medium heat.
- Slice sausage into bite-sized pieces.
- Add sausage and Parmesan rind to soup.
- Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add kale, stirring until just wilted.
- Serve with this rosemary garlic bread, a crusty baguette, or cheddar bay biscuits.
This recipe was created by contributor Jacqui McGovern. It appeared here for the first time on February 11, 2015 and was updated March, 27 2023.