Sausage, Kale and Potato Soup | Whole30 and Paleo

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I have fought posting a soup this early. If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know that I love all things summer and not a fan AT ALL of Fall and Winter. I just got my September Bon Apetit magazine and can’t bring myself to read about braises while I am savoring every minute I can by the pool (it’s still in the 90’s in Texas.) That said, I know that much of the country is already experiencing cooler weather so I will join the soup party and give you my FAVORITE soup of all time - Sausage, Kale and Potato Soup.

Is Sausage, Kale and Potato Soup Like Zuppa Toscana?

I have never eaten this soup that Olive Garden has made famous at the restaurant, but I had a client that LOVED it and I made it for any big event he had me cater. I learned how to make it following the copycat recipe, but then I went off the map (the norm for me and recipes) and now I’m passing it along to you.

How is this Whole30 Compliant?

One of the ways I went off the map was to update this recipe to make it compliant when we did a Whole30 awhile back. The original recipe calls for heavy cream with the addition of tomatoes and vinegar to bring the little zip to it and keep it from being too rich. Coconut milk is an easy sub for heavy cream and since I use no tomatoes, I add a little extra vinegar and some lemon juice instead. I also added carrots and celery to make this more veggie heavy.

Is it Paleo Friendly?

Yes, except for potatoes depending on what Paleo philosophy you follow. Potatoes are a gray area for the Paleo lifestyle so feel free to use sweet potatoes or leave them out depending on your needs. You can always sub a different veggie instead of to keep the bulk that potatoes add. (Butternut or zucchini squash would work.)

Taste Test the Original Vs. This Cleaner Version

Have you tried the original version at the restaurant or made it using a similar recipe at home? Try this one and tell me what you think in comments below. I love it and really can’t tell a difference at all from the original. I made it for a retreat in the Spring when it was still cool here and the guests loved it so much!

Sausage, Kale and Potato Soup

If you make this soup ahead, leave out the cream until you reheat it. You can also freeze it without the cream for up to 3 months. The potatoes may have a different texture, but it’s still quite tasty and awesome to have on a cold day for a quick meal.

1 lb Italian sausage, fresh preferably but smoked will work

2 tbsp olive oil or leftover bacon fat

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 carrots, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 lb Yukon gold potatoes, 1” pieces (sub another veg if you don’t eat potatoes)

Large pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, optional

6 cups chicken broth

1 bunch kale, chard or spinach, stem removed and cut into 1” pieces

1 cup full fat coconut milk

1 tsp sea salt or to taste

Juice of 1 lemon

  1. If using smoked sausage, slice into ½” slices. For Italian sausage, you can either slit the casing and remove it or simply squeeze the sausage out directly into the pan in the next step (carefully since oil will be hot) and break up like you would ground beef.

  2. In a large soup pot, sauté the sausage in the olive oil or bacon fat until brown.

  3. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until golden. Add the carrots, celery and potatoes and stir to scrape all the bits off the bottom of the pan. Toss in the red pepper flakes then add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer until the potatoes are almost tender. Add the kale and cook until wilted.

  4. Add the coconut milk then season with the salt and lemon juice. Taste and add more sea salt if you want to.

  5. Cook at a simmer just until it is warmed through.