Cannellini Beans with Fresh Kale and Spicy Sausage Soup

White Bean Kale and Spicy Italian Sausage Soup

Not many things beat a warming winter soup. The cold outside calls for this simmering goodness on the stove and using local ingredients enhances the flavor in this take on a winter classic.


  • 1 pound dry cannellini beans (or 2 15-oz cans cooked beans)
  • 1 1/2 pounds spicy Italian sausage
  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 sprig each, oregano and thyme
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 small bunch of fresh kale, roughly chopped
  • salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper, to taste

There are several ways to work with dry beans. When planning ahead, covering them with water and soaking them overnight works like a charm, but sometimes you get up and want to make soup that day without any forethought. If that is the case, add beans to a pot and cover with 3 inches of water. Bring to a rapid boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover, allowing to sit for 1 hour. Your beans will then be ready to cook with.

White Bean Kale and Spicy Italian Sausage Soup

Once beans are ready, drain, rinse and add to a soup pot. Add onion, tomatoes, broth, sausage and sprigs of oregano and thyme. Bring to a boil. Once at a boil reduce to a slow simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 1 hour or until beans are done.

White Bean Kale and Spicy Italian Sausage Soup

Once beans reach desired doneness, add the fresh kale, allow it to cook and wilt for about 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.

Ladling the Soup

Ladle your soup into individual bowls and serve immediately.

White Bean Kale and Spicy Italian Sausage Soup

This is a filling soup perfect to serve for dinner with some fresh warm bread. Leftovers the next day for lunch is also just as satisfying, as this soup works like most — it always seems to taste better the next day.

White Bean Kale and Spicy Italian Sausage Soup

Which soups do you make to warm your house and fill it with wonderful smells? Let us know in the comments below!


Tim Vidra E.A.T.

Virginia based food writer, Tim Vidra, authors the blog E.A.T. where he advocates the principles behind supporting a sustainable food system. Tim’s mission is in sharing his passion for the preparation and enjoyment of food in a way that everyone from beginners to long time foodies can get involved in. His ties to food are deep rooted — he fondly recalls his Hungarian grandmother citing “If you don’t kill it, pluck it or grow it, I’m not eating it” as he spent hours with her in their backyard garden. Now living in the city, Tim tries to maintain these basic principles as he tackles building his own lush urban garden. His recipes and advice have been featured across food publications and he’s led series’ of cooking demos and classes throughout the Richmond area. Learn more about Tim via E.A.T. and follow him on Twitter @TimVidraEats.

  1. I made this yesterday and it was fabulous!! I used sweet italian sausage links instead of the spicy as I am not as fond of spicy sausage. I also used tomatoes I canned this past summer and you could taste the freshness! I will definitely make this soup over and over again!

    1. Sandy, so happy to hear and I would agree home canned tomatoes would definitely add some localness to this soup! Thanks for letting us know!

      Best, Tim

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Relay Foods is the healthy online grocery store. We make shopping for quality, healthy, and sustainable groceries simple and easy. Shop from your computer or mobile phone and receive your groceries the next day! Relay Foods currently serves customers in Central Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC, and North Carolina’s Triangle region.