Spicy Sausage Kale Soup

spicy sausage kale soup in bowl with spoon

Healthy gets tough mid-January. Especially if you’ve committed to some crazy detox for the new year and you’ve spent days without bread. And sugar. And pasta. And….sugar. [Thank you New Years Real Food Detox] I also thought it would be fun to cut back dairy, but then Starbucks released their Flat White and it all went to hell. It’s been cold and rainy for 2 weeks in Atlanta and all I want in this whole world is a bowl of garlic butter noodles and a piece of lemon coconut cake [yes, it’s that specific] but then I remember that I’m sleeping though the night, I’m not crashing at 3 pm and looking for more coffee, and I’m even down a few pounds. I’m continuing to get emails about how awesome the The Real Food Detox is going for you guys so I’m like, “PULL IT TOGETHER, MEGAN, YOU’RE HALFWAY THERE.”

This is all a little dramatic, I know. I blame it on the weather. Anyways, I’ve decided to kick it up a notch adding in more Real Food comfort foods, like this sausage and kale soup. Even if you’re not doing the detox, I know it’s hard to eat healthy in the middle of winter, and this is a recipe that you can enjoy without thinking about the fact that you’re eating something full of vegetables. Something about sausage just makes you forget about vegetables, right? And it’s a PHFF meal all in one bowl, making it easy for a brown bag lunch [my life].

I use chicken sausage that I buy from a farmer’s market here in Atlanta, but you could really use any type of hot or even mild Italian sausage. Turkey sausage or obviously pork sausage would go great with this recipe too. Truthfully, I was clearing out my fridge and pantry when I made this [which explains the odd ingredient of green chiles – but seriously, add the green chiles!] and I thought “oh shit” when I tasted it and knew I had to share it with you guys. I know I’ve made a good soup when I hear my husband come home from work at 2 AM and shout, “YOU ARE A SOUP GODDESS.”

spicy sausage kale soup

I’m a soup goddess guys. Make the soup.

Sausage Kale Soup

Author: Megan Hansen, RDN, LD

Prep time: 20 mins

Cook time: 22 mins

Total time: 42 mins

Serves: 4

A hearty, comforting soup full of veggies and chicken sausage to get you through winter’s homestretch.


  • 1 lb bulk spicy Italian sausage – chicken, turkey or pork

  • 2 Tbsp ghee or olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 4 carrots, chopped

  • 3 celery, chopped

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 4 c beef or chicken stock

  • 1 c diced tomatoes [about a half can]

  • 1 4 oz can of chopped green chilies

  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning

  • 1 small bunch of kale, chopped [about 4 c]

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Chopped green onions, for garnish


  1. Brown sausage in a pan over medium high heat, and start preparing soup. Leave sausage to the side while you make your soup.

  2. Melt ghee over medium high heat in a 3 or 4 qt heavy bottom sauce pan.

  3. Sautee onion, carrots, celery and bay leaf for 8 minutes, until all veggies are soft.

  4. Add stock, tomatoes, chiles and Italian seasoning.

  5. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 10 minutes.

  6. Add chopped kale and cooked sausage, and let simmer for 5 more minutes.

  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  8. Ladle into bowls and top with chopped green onions.

Serving size: 1/4 recipe

Fat: 21

Fiber: 5

Protein: 20


Pour over rice for a hearty sausage kale stew.

Eat with a fat piece of cornbread n’ grass fed buttah – extra points if it’s gluten free. Bob’s Red Mill makes a great gluten free cornbread and it’s so easy.

I recommend organic or humanely raised pork, if you’re buying pork sausage. Toxins live in fat, and we love fat, but with high fat meats it’s smart to be careful about the source of the animal.

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