Tuscan sausage and kale soup is hearty, satisfying winter comfort food at its finest. It’s crazy good for you thanks to the kale. It’s crazy high fiber thanks to the beans. And the use of chicken Italian sausage makes it delicious without adding a lot of saturated fat. What’s not to love?
The Ghost of Tuscan Soups Past
This isn’t my first rodeo when it comes to Tuscan soup. In the fall of 2015 I made this Tuscan White Bean Soup with Kale. And it was delicious. But man (and woman) does not live by one Tuscan soup alone. At least I don’t. So this is a second take on this Tuscan classic.
In this case I’ve used Chicken Italian Sausage rather than pancetta. It’s offers a really substantial, meaty heartiness to the soup, but it’s actually a bit lower fat and in particular lower in saturated fat. And given the signature fennel flavor in Italian sausage, the Tuscan Sausage and Kale Soup recipe replaces the basil used in my last recipe with ground fennel seed. That and a bit of lemon zest offer a really amazing subtle hint of licorice and citrus. I don’t know about you, but that’s a flavor combo I really enjoy.
Tuscan Sausage and Kale Soup is Really Good for You
Have we ever talked about kale? Ha! Of course we have. We never shut up about kale. Anyway, this Tuscan sausage and kale soup has kale in it. So now you’ve knocked out a good bit of your daily need for vitamins A and C. We geeked out on kale at length back in the summer in this kick-ass raw kale salad recipe post. If you need a refresher, take a look.
A serving of this Tuscan sausage and kale soup has 15 grams of fiber. No, I’m not making this up. Fifteen. Grams. Of. Fiber. The RDA for an adult woman is 25 grams. So wham! Knocked out most of that fiber requirement for the day already. You have great northern beans to thank.
And guess what? Fifteen grams of fiber in your belly is crazy filling. It satiates you. A 248 calorie bowl of soup and you’re stuffed for hours. So despite being a very hearty, the Tuscan sausage and kale soup is actually friendly to the waistline.
I personally love the stuff. I hope you do too. Happy soup season to you all.
- Tuscan Sausage and Kale Soup Brings Big Winter Comfort (60)
- 1 pound (about 2 Cups) Great Northern Beans
- 3-4 Cups Water
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ½ Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 5 Links Chicken Italian Sausage
- 3 Large Carrots, diced
- 3 Celery Stalks, diced
- 1 Large Yellow Onion, peeled and diced
- Black Pepper to taste
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Rosemary, Finely Chopped
- 4 Cloves Fresh Garlic, Finely Chopped
- ½ Teaspoon Fennel Seeds, coarsely ground in a mortar and pestle
- ¾ Cup Dry White Wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
- 3 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
- 1 Parmesan Cheese Rind (Approximately 2 Tablespoons)
- 4 Cups Fresh Toscano Kale, Coarsely Chopped into Ribbons
- Zest and juice of 1 Lemon
- Sort the beans to pick out any pebbles (it happens). Place beans in a large pot and cover with water two inches above the surface of the beans. Allow them to soak overnight (or at least 6 hours).
- Drain water from beans and rinse. Refill pot with fresh water to a level an inch above the surface of the beans. Add the baking soda, ½ teaspoon of salt, and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil and let them simmer, covered, until tender (about 30 minutes). Then add the chicken stock.
- Cook the sausages in a skillet until browned and cooked through. Set pancetta aside.
- In the same pan, add the olive oil and mirepoix (carrots, celery, and onion), and a pinch of salt. Saute until onions just begin to become translucent. Add rosemary, garlic, fennel, and black pepper to taste. Cook until garlic is fragrant. Deglaze with the wine.
- Add the vegetable mixture and the parmesan rind to the pot of beans.
- Slice the sausages into disks and them to the pot of beans as well Bring mixture to a simmer.
- Add the lemon zest and juice and the kale. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Add additional water or stock as necessary to create a thick soup.