Deliciously Healthy Sausage and Kale Soup

sausage and kale soup

Food is emotion – it speaks love, comfort, and care. Creating good food is a way to communicate those emotions without saying a word. And a good, flavorful soup speaks loudly. That’s why we love it!

In our Sausage and Kale Soup, simple chicken broth absorbs the flavors of Italian sausage and fennel, with a subtle background of garlic, onion, parmesan, and plenty of ground black pepper. Orzo adds texture and substance without taking over. It truly is exceptional!

sausage and kale soup in bowl with muffin on the side

Making Sausage and Kale Soup

Like all soups, this is a flavor-building exercise. Start by cooking the sausage, then the onion and celery. The garlic and fennel seeds are added and toasted just for a minute before pouring in the broth and letting it simmer to absorb all the flavor you built. Simmer for 10 minutes, then add the orzo and kale. Continue simmering until the pasta is cooked and the kale is tender, about 5 more minutes.

It’s a simple process and a way to build tremendous flavor in a relatively short amount of time. From start to finish, this soup can be on the table in less than 30 minutes!

sausage and kale soup with spoon

Serving Sausage and Kale Soup

This soup can hold its own as a stand-alone dish. But it’s also great with a simple side salad of greens and a quick vinaigrette. Or with these wonderful breads:


spoonful of sausage and kale soup
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sausage and kale soup

Sausage and Kale Soup

Our Sausage and Kale Soup gives comfort through flavorful broth filled with sausage, fennel, parmesan, healthy kale, and simple orzo pasta.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main, Soup
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 6 people


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces ground Italian sausage
  • 1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion about 1/2 medium onion
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced celery about 1 stalk
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 4-6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 cups roughly chopped fresh kale leaves
  • 1/2 cup orzo
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Fresh Parmesan


  • Cook the Sausage: Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook until browned all over and no longer pink. While the sausage cooks, break it up with a fork or wooden spoon until it is in small pieces.
  • Add Aromatics: When the sausage is fully cooked, add the onion and celery. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are soft. Reduce the heat as necessary to keep it from burning. Add the garlic and fennel seeds and cook for one minute, or until they are fragrant.
  • Simmer the Stock: Pour in 4 cups of the chicken stock, stir, then raise the heat and bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Add additional chicken stock as needed.
  • Cook Kale and Orzo: After simmering for 10 minutes, add the kale and orzo. Cook until the kale is tender and the orzo is al dente, 5-10 more minutes. Taste and add up to 1/2 teaspoon of salt if needed. Serve topped with black pepper and shaved fresh parmesan.


  • If making this ahead, wait to add and cook the pasta until just before serving, as it will continue to absorb liquid as it sits.
  • Feel free to use your favorite pasta instead of the orzo if you prefer. We like the small shape of the orzo, as it doesn’t overwhelm the soup.
  • This recipe was inspired by the delicious NY Times recipe Sausage Tortellini Soup.
Keyword kale, sausage, soup
Tag @mealtimejoy on instagram if you made this recipe

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