Creamy Sausage Kale Sweet Potato Soup

After five years of marriage, I’ve learned if I want the Mr. to eat kale, I’m going to have to tempt him with something he really loves. In the case of this Creamy Sausage Kale Sweet Potato Soup, I’ve roped him in with bacon AND sausage. Hook, line, and sinker.

two pottery bowls filled with kale sweet potato sausage soup

This past week I experienced the first cold of the dreaded cold and flu season. For me, the worst part about having a cold isn’t the restless sleep, the nose rubbed raw by Kleenex, or the inability to swallow anything thicker than broth.

It’s the not being able to taste anything that really gets me. I sipped on hot tea lattes and homemade chicken noodle soup for several days, but it brought me little comfort.

I couldn’t smell the lemon and honey I stirred into my tea or the pungent garlic I added in handfuls to the soup. For those few days, food was merely nourishment, a necessary evil to endure, not enjoy.

Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to get back in the kitchen. This soup is an old favorite and was exactly what I wanted as soon as my tastebuds returned.

bowl full of creamy sweet potato sausage soup

Kale and Sweet Potato Soup- Yes, These Flavors Really Do Work Together!

This Sausage Kale Sweet Potato Soup is actually a riff on Zuppa Toscano, a creamy Italian soup loaded with bacon, white potatoes, sausage, and greens.

I love pairing sweet potatoes with sausage (see this Sweet Potato Sausage Hash), and I hoped this flavor combination would translate equally well to a creamy, garlicky soup.

Many readers have told me they were suspicious of these ingredients, but they ended up LOVING the soup. Don’t let the greens and sweet potatoes scare you off!

This soup is creamy, rich, and satisfying, and the flavor is definitely a step up from plain chicken and noodle.

Robust and zesty, with just the right amount of sinus-clearing heat from a pinch of red pepper flakes, this soup will have your taste buds singing after every bite.

ingredients for making sausage kale soup

How To Make Sausage Sweet Potato Kale Soup

All said, this soup takes about 30 minutes from start to finish, and everything is made in a single pot. This Le Creuset Dutch Oven is my favorite soup cooking vessel, but any large, heavy bottomed pot will do just fine.

  1. Start by cooking four slices of bacon until crisp, then removing them to a plate to cool.
  2. Add a pound of Italian sausage and one chopped yellow onion, stirring everything together until the sausage is browned and the onion is translucent. Drain off any excess grease.
  3. Stir in a few cloves of minced garlic and four cups of cubed sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Add four cups of chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil until the sweet potatoes are softened, about five minutes.
  5. Lower the heat and stir in the kale, giving it a minute or two to wilt. Stir in 1 ½ cups heavy cream and a few fat pinches of red pepper flakes.
  6. Serve immediately with crumbled bacon on top and a few shavings of Parmesan, if that’s your thing. (It is most definitely our thing).
creamy kale soup in a soup ladle

Variations and Substitutions on Kale Sweet Potato Soup

  • You can substitute half and half for the heavy cream to reduce the fat and calories, but the texture will be slightly less creamy.
  • White potatoes can be used instead of sweet potatoes for a classic Zuppa Toscano.
  • Substitute spinach or chard for the kale if you prefer.
  • Now that I’m feeding kiddos, I leave the red pepper flakes out of the soup and sprinkle them on individual portions instead. My kids can be extremely picky, but my five year old came around after a little coaxing. The 2 year old just picked out all the sausage, but ya know, you win some you lose some!
brown glazed bowl full of sweet potato sausage soup

What to serve with Creamy Kale Soup

My favorite pairing for Sweet Potato Kale Soup is crusty bread or easy drop biscuits. Get ready to sop up all that delicious broth!

You also can’t go wrong with an Easy Garden Salad or That Good Salad–just add a few extra slices of bacon at the beginning to add to the salad!

More Delicious Creamy Soup Recipes You’ll Love

spoonful of kale sausage sweet potato soup
brown glazed bowl full of sweet potato sausage soup

One Pot Kale, Sweet Potato, and Sausage Soup

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

This Kale and Sweet Potato Soup is loaded with sausage and crispy bacon in a creamy garlic broth.

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 large or 3 small sweet potatoes, cubed or sliced into thin half moons
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cups chopped kale leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • Fat pinch red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Heat a dutch oven or other heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the bacon pieces and cook until crisped, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spatula or spoon and place on a paper towel to drain.
  2. Add the onion and sausage to the pot, using your spatula to crumble the sausage. Cook until no pink remains, then drain the excess fat from the pot. Stir in the garlic and sweet potatoes. Sprinkle lightly with Kosher salt and black pepper.
  3. Pour the chicken broth into the pot, increase the heat to high, and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook until the sweet potatoes are softened, 4-5 minutes.
  4. Add the kale and cook until wilted, an additional 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat and stir in cream and red pepper flakes. Heat through and serve with crumbled bacon on top.

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27 Comments

  1. I wanted to make a healthier version of this soup, so I used Sweet Italian Chicken sausage and replaced the heavy cream with Lite Coconut Milk! It was delicious and guilt free!

  2. I just made this for dinner… OMG! Easy, sooo tasty, reasonably cheap ingredients and my kitchen was clean at the end too. Its the whole package. I added a little extra chilli to mine and it was a huge hit. Cant wait to have the leftovers for tomorrows dinner and see how the flavours have developed.

  3. I’m with you–not being able to taste what you’re eating is the worst. It’s almost as if it’s not worth it. This soup is going on the menu. Pinned.

    1. I’ve been curious about essential oils for awhile. I attended a class on using them for cleaning a few years ago. The lady also had a medicinal class but I never took it. I’d love to try a more natural way of treating colds though!

  4. BOO to colds! I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better. The not being able to taste part is THE WORST. Such a buzzkill. Especially when you’re making soups with so much great flavor! I would be slurping this down if it was sitting in front of me. No spoon needed.

  5. Is your Italian sausage in links that you slice and fry or already loose to fry and crumble? Thanks! I’m excited for this recipe!

    1. I usually use the kind that is already loose, in a one pound package. However, if all I have on hand are the links, sometimes I’ll cut through the casing and remove the Italian sausage from the inside. Either one will work just fine, it’s just easier if you get it already loose! I hope you love the recipe!

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