This Tuscan White Bean, Sausage and Kale Soup is quick and easy to make, and full of the coziest Italian flavors. It’s also naturally gluten-free and freezes beautifully.
There are a zillion big and little differences about the grocery stores here in Barcelona that we’ve have come to know and love during our time here. (Ok, plus plenty that I don’t love — hello, having-to-wait-in-line-to-weigh-and-print-a-receipt-for-every-single-piece-of-produce-you-purchase before going to the register to check out, bah.) Still, from the various kinds of lockers located at the front of each store, to the quirky little grocery carts here, to the abundance of good cheeses and breads and leeks and fresh seafood, not to mention the crazy affordability of good wines and nut milks and roasted red peppers, to digestives galore (holla!) and zillions of gin and tonic decorations (G&Ts are all the rage here) to literal walls full of zee Spanish meats (mmm), to the streamlined checkout systems everywhere you go — grocery shopping here always feels like a fun adventure, and I inevitably come home from each trip with new discoveries to share. One of my favorite said discoveries?
All of the beans here in Spain are sold in clear glass jars. ?
I know — it’s the randomest, tiny detail about grocery shopping here. But it was one of the first things we noticed on our first trip grocery shopping here. And three months later, every time I pass by a bean aisle and see all of those legumes proudly displayed in their gorgeous glass jars, they still make me ridiculously happy. (And also make me wonder — why on earth do we hide our beans in the United States? They’re so pretty in jars!)
So of course, naturally, our pantry has been well-stocked with a beautiful selection of impulse bean-buys ever since we moved here. And last month on a chilly day when I was craving some comfort food, one such jar ended up being the starring ingredient in a simmering pot of warm Italian soup. This Tuscan White Bean, Sausage and Kale Soup.
I actually photographed and meant to post this recipe about a month ago, intended to be a quick and simple meal that you could simmer during the busy holiday season. But then, life got busy because of, well, said holidays…and I totally spaced this one off. ? But hey, sounds like this is better timing anyway with all of these bomb cyclones and arctic blasts and whatnot making headlines lately.
So let’s talk about this soup!
It’s a classic, and one that I have loved for years. I’ve made it with various greens (kale, spinach, collards, you pick), various proteins (crumbled Italian sausage, smoked sausage, chicken, etc.), various veggies (love tossing in leftover zucchini, bell peppers, eggplant, etc.), and seasonings (fresh Italian herbs, dried seasoning, or pesto). But most of the time, I find myself coming back to this combo of classic Tuscan ingredients. And they have a way of hitting the spot…every time.
I’ve included instructions below for how to make this one in the stovetop, slow cooker or Instant Pot. But honestly, there’s so little to it that the classic stovetop version will require just as much work as the other two. So feel free to take your pick.
I like to serve mine with extra freshly-ground black pepper on top…
…plus a generous sprinkle of freshly-grated Parmesan. And if you happen to have a baguette or crusty loaf of bread around, bring it on.
Enjoy, everyone! And hope that you’re all staying warm out there!
1 bunch lacinato or curly kale, roughly chopped with tough stems removed
sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add sausage and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring and flipping occasionally, until browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage to a clean plate, and set aside. Discard any remaining grease.
Add the remaining oil to the stockpot. Add onion and carrot and sauté for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and translucent. Stir in the garlic and sauté for 1-2 more minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant.
Add in the chicken stock, white beans, herbs, and cooked sausage and stir until combined. Continue cooking until the soup reaches a simmer.
Stir in the kale, cover and cook for 5 minutes, or until the kale has softened a bit.
Taste, and season with a few generous pinches of salt and pepper as needed.
Serve warm, garnished with lots of Parmesan cheese. Or transfer to a sealed container(s) and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Wow! This looks like the perfect treat for a snowy day in. I love that the soup looks creamy, without adding any cream.
I noticed that as well. I wondered how just chicken broth could turn thick, but I just made it and it’s definitely not a super-thin broth. It’s so delicious.
Also in the Instant Pot directions. :)
Do you have the nutritional details? Thanks
It’s cold her in KC so pinning this recipe for next weeks grocery shopping. Here at the local HyVee I can buy Great Northern Beans and Mixed Beans in jars. :)
here not her :)
Yum! Looks so good!
This looks so good, perfect for a cold winter day <3
I saw this posted on Facebook and knew it would be perfect for this icy, snowy day here in Southern Illinois! I’m always excited to see a soup recipe from you because every one I’ve ever made has been delicious! I’m currently waiting on my second bowl to cool down as I type.
I didn’t have some of the suggested ingredients so I subbed a few things. I used powdered garlic instead of fresh, zucchini instead of kale, hot sauce instead of pepper flakes, and a mixture of Herbs de Provence and Italian seasoning. I also added an extra can of beans. It really hit the spot.
Now I have something to put on a bucket list…impulse bean buys
This looks like a real comfort food for those nights when you just want to throw some stuff together for a simple meal. What would be a good replacement for the sausage? I’m vegetarian, so no sausages for me and I’m not a fan of the vegetarian sausages either.
Alexis| Simple Health Style
This was a wonderful recipe for a cold, January day! I opted to cook this on a stovetop and the result was fantastic and flavorful. I used sweet Italian sausage and kept the other ingredients consistent with the recipe. Even with this slight adjustment, it turned out great. Just make sure you have the freshly grated Parmesan cheese…it makes a difference!
Just made this for dinner and it was DELISH used chicken sausage and roasted all the veggies ( except kale) in the oven before adding to pot. Great recipe. One of MANY great ones I’ve made from your site. :)
Beans and lentils in glass jars are one of things I really miss about Spanish grocery shopping! Plus they make storing leftovers beans so much easier!
Maybe on a future vlog you could take us grocery shopping in Spain? It would be neat to see!!
Would like more information in the type of smoked sausage you would recommend. Are you referring to andouille? Kielbasa? I understand I can use anything, but what did you specifically use here and what would you recommend?
Super quick and delicious. Served over pasta.
Had to come back and comment because this recipe/soup guide has not failed us yet. I’ve made this a few times now with different types of sausage and veggies and they are all so good! The extra garlic is perfect. Our favorite was last night’s: smoked spicy andouille with collard greens instead of kale. Thanks for the awesome recipes!! Keep up the great work!
I lived in Spain for a few years and have been back many times, and one of the things I miss most are the lentils in glass jars!
Love this recipe! Just put it on in the crockpot. Can’t wait to taste it. I used Hot Italian Sausage, thats what I had and homemade Chicken Stock. And whatever Italian herbs, dried, I had in my spice drawer.
Thanks for sharing!
Great recipe! I added Parmesan rinds to the broth and it gave it excellent flavor. Make sure to save and freeze those rinds for soups like this!!
I can’t seem to find where you put the directions on the dried herb options. Can you help clarify?
This soup just warms the soul! Perfect for a chilly night like tonight. I instead of adding salt, I added a teaspoon of better bouillion – roasted chicken flavor – and then swirled in some pesto and parm at the end. It turned out heavenly! Love your blog and your recipes!
Delicious! And so easy. I used a red bell pepper instead of carrots. And I let it simmer for an extra 15 min before I added the kale. Thank you!
I make a lot of homemade soups. This was phenomenally delicious! My husband (who claims he doesn’t like soup!) couldn’t stop exclaiming as he ate and even asked for seconds. Made just as directed except I only had 1/2 lb. of “hot” ground sausage (from a chub) so that’s what I used. It was plenty, I think, but next time will try as written because it was soooo good. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I have a feeling it’s one I’ll be making quite often!
Made this and it was AWESOME! A few modifications:
I cannot have garlic, so I omitted
Added two bay leaves
Used bacon grease instead of olive oil and didn’t drain off the oil from the sausage, but cooked the onions in it instead.
Before adding everything back into the pot I deglazed with some brandy.
Delicious and so easy – a new regular on our weekend and weeknight menu!
What are the dried herb ratios?
I don’t see instant pot or crock pot instructions or herb ratios anywhere
Made with ground mild Italian pork sausage and lacinato kale. Super simple and quick. (chef’s kiss)
This soup is delicious. Thank you!!
Question for everyone — my grocery store is out of white onions oddly. Do you think I could sub a red onion and not sacrifice taste?
Side note, I’ve made this several times and with vegan sausages. It’s my go-to company is coming and I need something easy to make recipe. So good and mature-tasting, thank you!!