Thursday, March 25, 2010

Recipe for Italian Sausage and Kale Soup with Whole Wheat Spaghetti Pieces

Italian Sausage and Kale Soup with Whole Wheat Spaghetti PiecesI've mentioned before how cooking ideas sometimes just pop into my head and I have no idea where they came from, and this idea of using broken pieces of my favorite whole wheat spaghetti in soup was one of those. I've always been a fan of soup with pasta in it, and this recipe is one I came up with a few weeks ago when I was having fun experimenting with kale chips and sauteed kale and I had a small bunch of kale left over. The soup also had turkey Italian sausage, one of my favorite ingredients. Sausage, kale, and whole wheat spaghetti; doesn't that sound like a combination that could inspire a lot of good recipes? This soup was definitely a winner.

Saute the onions in a heavy pot big enough to hold all the soup, then add garlic, ground fennel, dried basil, and dried oregano and saute a few minutes more.

Most packages of turkey Italian sausage come with five links, but I'd used one for something else so I only had four. (If you want more sausage, go ahead and throw in the other link.)

While the onions are cooking, squeeze the turkey Italian sausage out of the casings and brown it in another pan, breaking up with the back of a turner while it cooks.

Add the chicken beef stock, and browned sausage to the onion mixture and start to simmer.

Cut away the ribs from each leaf of a small bunch of kale, and discard the ribs.

Chop the kale leaves into bite-sized pieces. (I prefer pieces that are on the small side for soup, but they don't need to be all the same size.)

Kale can be gritty, so give it a rinse with cold water. (No need to dry because you're adding it to the soup.)

After the sausage, broth, onions, and herbs have simmered about 20 minutes, add the kale pieces and simmer 20-30 minutes more.

Then add one can petite diced tomatoes and simmer 20-30 minutes more (or until the kale pieces are very tender.)

This is my favorite whole wheat spaghetti that I used for this recipe, but any kind of whole grain pasta that's small will probably work.

Break spaghetti into small pieces until you have 1/2 cup broken spaghetti pieces. (Don't be tempted to use more than 1/2 cup, or the soup will be too thick.)

Increase the heat until the soup comes to a very gentle boil, add spaghetti pieces and cook 15-20 minutes more, or until spaghetti is tender. Serve the soup hot, with plenty of fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

Italian Sausage and Kale Soup with Whole Wheat Spaghetti Pieces
(Makes about 8 servings, recipe created by Kalyn.)

1 large onion, chopped small
1 T + 2 tsp. olive oil
1 T minced garlic
1 tsp. ground fennel
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
4 links sweet Turkey Italian Sausage (about 15 oz., or use all five links if you want a thicker soup)
8 cups chicken stock (or use 4 cans plus 1/2 cup water)
4 cups beef stock (or use 2 cans plus 1/4 cup water)
1 small bunch kale, ribs cut away and chopped into small pieces
1 can petite dice tomatoes with juice (14.5 oz.)
1/2 cup broken whole wheat spaghetti pieces
freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving

Heat 1 T olive oil in a heavy pan large enough to hold all the soup; add onion and saute until it starts to soften, about 4-5 minutes. Add minced garlic, ground fennel, dried oregano, and dried basil and saute 1-2 minutes more.

While onions are cooking, heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a large frying pan, then squeeze turkey Italian sausage out of the casing and cook until it's well browned. Use the back of the turner to break the sausage apart as it browns.

Add the chicken stock and beef stock to the onion mixture and start to simmer. When sausage is well browned, add it to the stock mixture. Deglaze the sausage pan with 1/2 cup water, scraping off any browned bits in the bottom of the pan, and add that to the soup pot. Let the stock, sausage, and herb mixture simmer about 20 minutes to build flavor.

While the stock mixture simmers, cut away the center rib from each kale leaf and discard the rib. Cut the leaf part of the kale into small pieces and rinse well with cold water. After 20 minutes, add kale to the soup pot and simmer 20-30 minutes. Then add petite diced tomatoes and juice and simmer 20-30 minutes more.

Break whole wheat spaghetti into small pieces and measure until you have 1/2 cup broken spaghetti. Increase heat slightly so the soup mixture comes to a gentle boil, then add spaghetti and cook 15-20 minutes, or until spaghetti is tender.

Serve soup hot, with plenty of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Suggestions:
Made with turkey Italian sausage and whole grain pasta, this soup would be approved for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet.

More Delicious Soups with Kale:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup with Ham and Sherry Vinegar from Kalyn's Kitchen
Sausage and Red Russian Kale Soup with Tomatoes, Chickpeas, and Herbs from Kalyn's Kitchen
Autumn Harvest Soup with Butternut Squash, Kale, and Farro or Brown Rice from Kalyn's Kitchen
Kale and Roasted Vegetable Soup from Simply Recipes
Nutty Vanilla Sweet Potato and Kale Soup from Kath Eats Real Food
Chickpea and Kale Soup from Albion Cooks
Tuscan Style Pinto Bean Soup with Kale from Lisa's Kitchen
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)counter customizable free hit


  1. Italian sausage is the workhorse of my kitchen. I use it in everything from pizza and pasta, to soups. Love it!

  2. Brilliant idea to add the broken spaghetti onto the soup! I will for sure be doing this too at some point. Looks delicious

  3. This is really a great and delicious idea. I will try this recipe for sure!

  4. oh boy... so much, i am in love with all these ingredients

  5. Free Credit ScoreMarch 25, 2010 at 6:09 PM

    Italian sausage comes in very handy. Good for almost every type of food. I like it spicy :)

  6. It's like a pasta dish but in a deconstructed-ish form! I love the concept.

  7. Italian sausage manages to weasel its way into many of my dishes. This soup looks chock full of vitamins and flavors. Perfect comfort meal!

  8. This looks like a terrific recipe, thank you. I like to make homemade whole wheat noodles and think they would work really well in this soup.

  9. These flavors sound great - I'm a huge fan of whole wheat spaghetti, so I would jump at the chance to work it into another course!

  10. Would you believe I never once considered using sausage in a soup. It sounds great!

  11. My family really loves soups. Yesterday it rained all day - so I decide to try this soup. It was so good they fought over the drop. I used 1 1/2 lbs. good quality Italian sausage because that's what I had. I used semolina spaghetti, again because that's what I had. I will definitely make this again. Maybe I'll add cannelini beans for extra nutrition.

  12. Kate, glad to her it was a hit!

  13. I made this soup last night, it was wonderful! Only changes I made were that I only used chicken stock and for the pasta I used Dreamfields linguine. husband kept going back for seconds. I probably wouldn't have any for leftovers if I didn't hide some in the fridge.

  14. April, good idea to use Dreamfields linguini in this. Glad to hear you liked it!

  15. I often break up spaghetti especially for soups. I wrap it in a teatowel and run it over the edge of the bench a few times - it's very therapeutic! ;-)
    Keep these ideas coming Kalyn as this sounds absolutely fantastic to me and totally what I'm craving at this time of year down here. I can't wait to make it, although as I haven't any kale I'll probably substitute Swiss-chard from our garden. xx

  16. Bron, I think swiss chard would be great. I'm just about to plant some here!

  17. looks lovely - and I am interested to see red and white wine in the soup - seems quite unusual - now I am wondering if this was the recipe or if you were using up the dregs :-)

  18. There is no wine in this recipe?

  19. This soup is an instant favorite! I made it today to take to a book club as "mystery soup", since our genre is mysteries tonight. I wanted the guests to guess what the mystery ingredients were. (Also I was going to tell them that it was a mystery to me how it would turn out, since I had never tried this recipe before.)Well, mystery no longer: the soup is DELICIOUS! We all wanted to slick it up before I even had a chance to take it to book club. You are a culinary genius, Kalyn!

  20. Lolene, you are too kind! So glad it was a hit.

  21. One question: Your recipe said ground fennel--I had fennel seed, so I blended them to a powder. Isn't that what ground fennel is? (I've never used it before!) I looked fennel up, and I wondered how fresh fennel would work. Have you ever used it?

  22. Yes, ground fennel is just crushed fennel seed. I haven't tried fresh fennel in this, but I'm thinking the fennel flavor is stronger in the seeds. I don't think the fresh fennel would be bad, but I might use some ground fennel as well.

  23. Where do you find the Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage? Could you tell me what brand it is? I have never bought it before. Thank you so much for your help :)

  24. Wendy, it's usually found near the ground turkey. I've tried a few brands, but my favorite is Jenni-O.

  25. I made this for my family's annual holiday "everybody bring a pot of soup and bread" party. It was a HUGE hit and was voted the best soup of the night. Thank you for the recipe, it is sooo delicious!

  26. Kristie, so glad to hear that everyone enjoyed it so much!


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