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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Start by cooking four slices of bacon until crisp, then removing them to a plate to cool.
- 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.
- Stir in a few cloves of minced garlic and four cups of cubed sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Add four cups of chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil until the sweet potatoes are softened, about five minutes.
- 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.
- Serve immediately with crumbled bacon on top and a few shavings of Parmesan, if that’s your thing. (It is most definitely our thing).
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!
What to serve with Creamy Kale Soup
More Delicious Creamy Soup Recipes You’ll Love
- Sweet Potato Turkey Chili
- Creamy Chicken Sausage Tortellini Soup
- Creamy, Spicy Sweet Potato Soup
- Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Fresh Tomato Soup with Basil
- Creamy Ham and Potato Soup
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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