Spicy Sausage and Kale Soup

With the arrival of Autumn comes the start of soup season! This delicious soup is hearty and healthy (we love that combination)!

It’s also very versatile…you can use chicken or pork sausage and you can use mild or spicy Italian sausage. You can add a little or a lot of crushed red pepper. The flavor will be perfect any way you choose to make it.

You’ve got a rich base of tomato- and wine-infused chicken broth loaded up with sausage, kale and pasta. Top it with freshly grated parmesan cheese, and you have a wonderful soup to start any meal with!

Spicy Sausage & Kale Soup

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Spicy Sausage and Kale Soup

Makes: 6-8 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Bake Time: 1 hour & 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour & 40 minutes


  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive 0il
  • 1 pound hot Italian sausage links, casings removed (see Chef’s Note)
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or less, depending on how spicy you like things)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 & 1/2 cups dry red wine
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Black peppercorns, freshly cracked, to taste
  • 2 bunches lacinato kale, stemmed and julienned
  • 8 ounces dried cavatappi pasta
  • Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, for garnish


In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the Italian sausage and, using a wooden spoon, break up the sausage into crumbles. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and the fat has rendered, 10-12 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a small bowl, leaving as much fat as possible in the Dutch oven.

Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add in the onions and cook, stirring often, until softened, 5-6 minutes. Add in the crushed red pepper and garlic, and cook until aromatic, 1-2 minutes more. Stir in the tomato paste until well incorporated. Cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized and the color of rust, 6-8 minutes.

Pour in the red wine, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot.

Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the chicken stock, honey, tomatoes, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.

Stir in the reserved sausage and the kale, then reduce to a light simmer and cook, partially covered, for about 45 minutes.

Add 3 cups of water to the Dutch over and return the soup to a boil, add in the pasta. Cook, stirring occasionally until tender, 6-8 minutes. Add more water, if needed, to thin out the soup, then adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Remove from the heat, divide between bowls and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Chef’s Notes:

To make this healthier, feel free to use chicken Italian sausage.

If you are not a fan of heat, you can use mild Italian sausage in this recipe and cut the crushed red pepper back to 1/2 teaspoon.

Original recipe from Rachel Dolfi


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