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April 16, 2020

Recipe of the Week: Sausage, Potato and Kale Soup

A hearty bowl of soup sure to become a family favorite.

Total Time: I'm not sure – I’ve never timed it myself.

Serving Size: 6–8 servings.

There are a lot of ways to modify this recipe. You don’t like hot sausage? Use mild. You don’t eat meat? Use a meatless crumble and vegetarian/vegan broth. Is the store out of russet potatoes, kale and half and half? Use red potatoes, swiss chard and heavy cream. Make it your own and adjust to your taste!

Recipe of the Week Sausage Potato Kale Soup Ingredients


  • 1 pound of hot Italian sausage (I like Polidori and Boulder – both Colorado brands)
  • 3–5 slices of bacon
  • 1 medium to large white onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped finely (I use jarred garlic and add 4 HEAPING teaspoonfuls)
  • 3 medium to large russet potatoes, washed and unpeeled
  • 1 bunch of kale (about 3 cups), rinsed well with veins removed and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 40 ounces of chicken broth
  • 28 ounces of water
  • 16 ounces of half and half
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Crushed Red Pepper (optional)


Recipe of the Week Sausage Potato Kale Soup prepare meat and potato

  1. Remove casing from sausage, crumble into a skillet and brown over medium heat. Break apart large pieces while cooking. Drain fat. Set aside.

  2. Place bacon strips in the bottom of a large pot (a dutch oven is recommended, if available). and cook over medium heat until quite crispy. Remove bacon from pan and set aside but leave the rendered fat.

    Birdfeeder Tip:
    If you are not using bacon, you will need to add 2–3 tablespoons of olive or canola oil to the pot to sauté the onions and garlic.

  3. Turn heat down to medium-low. Add onions and garlic to bacon fat. Scrape up browned bits stuck to bottom of pan as you stir. Season with salt and pepper. This is where you can also add a pinch of red pepper flakes, depending on how spicy you like your food. Cover pot with lid.

    Birdfeeder Tip:
    Each time you add new ingredients, season with salt and pepper. Use a light hand with seasoning while you get the hang of it – you can always add more, but you cannot take away.

  4. Cook onions and garlic until onions are translucent.

    Birdfeeder Tip:
    The longer you cook the onions, the better – as long as nothing burns! The soup tastes awesome if everything starts to caramelize, but that requires cooking the onions for a long time at a low temperature.

    Recipe of the Week Sausage Potato Kale Soup Ingredients garlic onions

  5. While the onions are cooking, wash potatoes well and pat dry. On a cutting board, slice potatoes in half lengthwise (the way you would cut into a baked potato) so that you have two oval-shaped pieces. Lay those pieces, raw potato side down, on the cutting board. Cut those pieces cut in half lengthwise, creating two long potato wedges. Holding those pieces together and starting at one end, slice widthwise into 1/4-inch-thick triangles.

    Birdfeeder Tip: If the onions are not ready, put sliced potatoes into cold water while waiting so they don’t oxidize (turn brown). Just be sure to drain them before adding to the pot!

  6. Toss potato slices into onion/garlic mixture and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Turn up the heat to medium-high.

    Recipe of the Week Sausage Potato Kale Soup Ingredients potato and pepper

  7. Add chicken broth and water. Stir, scrapping any brown bits off the bottom of the pot.

  8. Return cooked sausage to the pot. Season with salt and pepper.

  9. Let soup come to a boil, reduce to a simmer (medium-low heat) and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked through.

    Birdfeeder Tip: To check potato doneness, pierce a piece of potato with a fork. If the fork goes through the potato without resistance, they are ready.

    Recipe of the Week Sausage Potato Kale Soup Ingredients build broth

  10. When potatoes are done, add kale to the pot. Let simmer another 15 minutes or until the kale is tender.

  11. Chop cooked bacon into small pieces and add to pot. Stir.

  12. Add half and half. Stir. Cook until just heated through.

    Birdfeeder Tip: Be careful when adding dairy to hot liquid. If it comes to a boil, the soup might “break” or look like it is not a cohesive liquid. If the soup breaks, it’s still fine to eat and will taste great – it just won’t look as pretty.

  13. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe of the Week Sausage Potato Kale Soup ready to eat

Serve with shredded or grated parmesan cheese, breadsticks and a salad.

This soup freezes well, and I love to save leftovers in individual servings. Warm leftovers slowly for best consistency.

Birdfeeder Tip: If you’re in a hurry, you can cook the bacon and sausage quickly, throw everything else into the pot (other than the half and half), and cook until the potatoes and kale are done. Add the half and half, warm through and season with salt and pepper.

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