This sausage, kale and carrot soup is a hearty staple in my house during the colder months. It’s simple to make and delicious. Infused with flavors of thyme and cumin, rich with sausge and kale, this soup is a meal in itself.
Yesterday I got this pang in my chest...a need to go to the ocean, which I think about more times than I care to admit. I don't know what it is that draws me to it. I suppose it's the thing that draws so many to the shoreline. For me, it's an obsession, which can't be silenced. Most like going to the beach in the summer. It's obvious. I do too but I like the beach in the winter, fall and spring.
My husband and I have taken several trips in the winter. Something we used to do more frequently pre-children. He reluctantly agrees to go even though he doesn't have the same fondness for the beach in the winter as I do. To me, perhaps one of loveliest things is waking up early, layering up with anything available in my suitcase and walking on the beach until my lips remind me that they're going to split if I don't immediately give them warmth.
The feeling of walking on an empty beach with nothing but the wind, sand and crashing waves feels a bit like: "shhhhh....relax". There isn't much room for thoughts because the experience itself is overwhelming. I don't know how to take it in more. I want to create extra space in my body, in my mind to preserve this feeling that can't be preserved. It's hard to put into words something visceral but the ocean does something to me. It transforms me. However, that feeling quickly fades once I'm frozen to the core.
Such cold, blistery beach strolls call for warm food - mainly soup. One of the most delicious soups I've had after such a walk was at a local restaurant in the beach town we frequently visit. It was a sausage, bean and greens soup, which inspired me to make my own version of it. While I do eat legumes now and then, they're not a regular part of my diet anymore so I decided to skip them for this recipe. However, the soup does need some creaminess so I opted for potato instead. The combination of sausage, kale and potato is glorious. If you want a bit of a kick, feel free to use spicy sausage, which is my favorite, but in order for my kids to eat it, I try to stick to mild. Also, if you're strictly paleo, feel free to skip the potato all together.
Tips for making the best sausage, kale and carrot soup
This soup is incredibly easy to make and can be on your table in under an hour. And the next day it will taste even better!
Sourcing the best possible sausage
I find sausage that’s not overly flavored to work best in this soup. If you have too many spices, it will completely overpower the soup and change the flavor profile. But if you like your soup hot, go for spicy sausage otherwise stick to mild.
Keeping the sausage kale and carrot soup lower carb
I’ve made the soup with and without potatoes. If you’re whole 30, potatoes are perfectly fine. If you’re strictly paleo, then skip the potatoes and use carrots only.
Can you add beans to this sausage kale and carrot soup?
You most certainly can. If you’re not following a strict diet, experiment with legumes. I find cannelini beans to work best in this soup. If you choose to use beans, I recommend soaking before cooking.
sausage kale and carrot soup
prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 40-45 minutes
makes: 6 servings
1 tbsp olive oil
6 medium carrots chopped into 1" pieces
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb Italian mild or spicy sausage, casings removed
1 russet potato, cut into bite size pieces (skip if strictly paleo)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 cups chicken broth
1 bunch kale, stems removed, torn into bite size pieces
large soup pot
slotted wooden spoon
Preheat soup pan on medium heat. Add olive oil, onion and a pinch of salt. Cook until onion is translucent - about 8 minutes.
Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add sausage to pan, breaking it up with wooden spoon into bite size pieces. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently until browned.
Next, add carrots and potatoes and cook for 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Add rest of ingredients aside from kale and cook for 25 minutes. Add kale in the last 10 minutes of cooking. Serve right away or store in the refrigerator in an air tight container.
* Soup always tastes better the second day