Monday, September 23, 2013

Sausage, Kale, and Sweet Potato Soup

Fall is definitely here, so it is time for soup!  Soup is actually one of my favourite parts of fall.  It's easy to make, there are an infinite number of variations, it freezes well, and it tastes even better with a piece of crusty bread.

This soup is my favourite way to eat sausage because you can enjoy the flavour without eating a lot of it. It's also one of my favourite ways to eat kale because it melts nicely into the background against the spicy sausage and the sweet potato.  If you're not sure about kale, try it in this recipe, and I guarantee you will like it.

This recipe is an adaptation of a Williams Sonoma recipe, and it serves 6 - 8.


2 lbs sweet potato (about 2 medium)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lb spicy Italian sausage
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp fresh thyme
2 litres chicken stock
1 bunch kale
salt, pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Cut the sweet potato into 1/2 inch cubes.  There is no need to peel it.  It is more nutritious to leave the skin on, and it is a real pain to peel it.  Toss the sweet potato cubes with 1 Tbsp of the olive oil, spread in one even layer on a baking sheet with parchment paper.  The parchment paper keeps the sweet potato from sticking to the pan.  Sprinkle with salt and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

3. In a large soup pot or dutch oven, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil and brown the sausages on all sides.  When the sausages are browned, remove from the pan and set aside on a paper towel lined plate.  It is not necessary for them to be cooked through.

4. Sauté the onion with a sprinkle of salt until translucent.  Add the garlic and thyme and sauté for another minute.

5. Slice the sausage into coins and return them to the pot.  Add the chicken stock, heat to a boil, and cook on a low simmer for another 10 minutes.

6. Remove the kale leaves from the inner ribs and chop into one inch pieces.  Add to the pot with the roasted sweet potato and heat through for about 2 minutes.

7. Season with pepper and additional salt, if needed.  I added about another teaspoon of salt.

Shopping Tips:

1. It is important to use a good quality chicken stock because you will really taste it in this recipe.  If I am not using homemade, I prefer to use an organic boxed variety.


1. I really encourage you to try this with kale at least once, but you can make it with spinach if you prefer.

2. You could make this with chicken sausage, but it is really best with something spicy, so add some crushed red pepper flakes when sautéing the onions.

3. For an even healthier vegan version, omit the sausage altogether.  Instead, use a can of drained and rinsed white beans and the following spices:
     1 tsp paprika
     1 tsp oregano
     1/2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
     1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Don't forget to use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock if you want this to be vegan.

The hot afternoons and cool evenings make it a perfect time to dust off the old soup pot.  Happy September!


  1. Couldn't get to this recipe yet but will definitely give it a try this weekend!

  2. Like most soups, this one is even better the next day.

  3. I L-O-V-E- love this soup! It was fantastic (just finished the second day leftovers last night). I don't care for fresh Thyme so much so substituted that old dry stuff I have in the cupboard which was good enough for my taste. I prefer that the flavours of the vegetables come through more strongly than the herbs and spices anyway. Dad says he prefers more traditional soups (e.g. Campbell's Tomato!) but I'll definitely be making this one again! Thanks, Shannon.