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Sausage, Cannellini and Kale Soup

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

This hearty Tuscan soup is full of flavor. The crinkly, deep-green leaves of Lacinato kale (also called dinosaur or black kale) are ideal, but any variety of kale will work.

This recipe is easily adaptable to serve meat-lovers and vegetarians alike: see the variation to serve one vegetarian, or check out the totally meatless version of this recipe.


  • 1-1/2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped (3/4 cup)
  • 1 medium celery stalk, finely chopped (3/4 cup)
  • 1-1/2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
  • 1 quart homemade or lower-salt chicken or vegetable broth
  • Two 15-oz. cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 6 oz. Lacinato kale, center ribs removed, leaves chopped (about 4 firmly packed cups)
  • 1 Parmigiano-Reggiano rind (1×3 inches; optional)
  • 1-1/2 tsp. cider vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 lb. sweet or hot bulk Italian sausage, rolled into bite-size meatballs

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 430
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 160
  • Fat (g): 18
  • Saturated Fat (g): 5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9
  • Cholesterol (mg): 25
  • Sodium (mg): 1160
  • Carbohydrates (g): 48
  • Fiber (g): 12
  • Protein (g): 20


  • Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a 4- to 5-quart pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and rosemary and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste and garlic and cook until fragrant, 45 seconds. Add the broth, beans, kale, and Parmigiano rind (if using). Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer gently until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.

    Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1/2 Tbs. oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the sausage meatballs, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes.

    Add the sausage to the soup and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook 5 minutes more to meld the flavors. Stir the cider vinegar into the soup and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve with a crusty baguette or Garlic Crostini with Spinach Salad.

To serve 1 vegetarian and 3 meat lovers: Use vegetable broth for the soup. Reduce the sausage to 1/2 lb. and cook the meatballs in the same fashion. After stirring the cider vinegar into the soup and seasoning to taste, set aside 1-3/4 cups of the soup for the vegetarian before adding the meatballs.


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Reviews (19 reviews)

  • AmyBick | 02/06/2020

    This soup was delicious! So easy to put together and any leftovers were consumed immediately the next day. Will be on the winter weeknight dinner rotation.

  • 1newskibum | 01/09/2019

    This soup was wonderful. Didn’t change a thing! Didn’t miss not having parmesan rind. May use turkey sausage next time...a little healthier!

  • user-3827951 | 10/30/2018

    I just spent the morning making this soup and it is grey, rainy and chilly day here in Montreal. I made a few changes to the recipe along the way based on a similar Fine Cooking recipe - Mediterranean Kale & white Bean Soup with Sausage. I added a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, used lemon juice instead of apple cider vinegar, used six cups of chicken broth and tossed in a frozen Parmesan rind I had in the freezer. The excellent quality of the sweet Italian sausage certainly kicked the taste of this soup up a notch. I look forward to enjoying this soup tonight as I think all the flavours need some time to merge.

  • ShariN | 01/04/2018

    Love this recipe! It’s a perfect soup for a cold winter night. I actually use chorizo for the meatballs. It adds a wonderful flavor to the soup.

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