Kale Sausage Soup with Tomatoes and Chickpeas

Hearty kale sausage soup! With Italian sausage, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, onions, garlic, and kale.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6


  • 1/2 pound mild Italian bulk sausage
  • Olive oil (if needed)
  • 3 cups sliced onions
  • 5 cloves garlic minced (about 5 teaspoons)
  • 1 28-ounce whole peeled tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 6 cups sliced kale (about 2 bunches lacinato kale, stems removed, leaves sliced into 1/2-inch wide slices)
  • 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs of oregano (or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano)
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese for garnish


1 Put the sausage in a large (5-qt) thick-bottomed pot and heat on medium or medium low heat.

Break up the large clumps of sausage and gently cook until lightly browned, rendering out the fat from the sausage. If the sausage is relatively lean and doesn't produce much fat when you cook it, add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pot. Note that you are just trying to lightly brown the sausage, not cook it through.

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Remove sausage with a slotted spoon and set aside. You should have at least one tablespoon of fat or oil left in the pot, if not, add more.

2 Add the sliced onions to the pot and cook on medium heat until translucent, about 7 to 8 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more.

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3 Add the chopped tomatoes, stock, bay leaves, oregano, and pepper. Bring to a simmer on high heat, reduce the heat to low and maintain a simmer for about 15 minutes.


4 Add the chopped kale, chickpeas, and sausage to the soup. Cook for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the kale is tender. Add salt to taste.

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Garnish with grated Parmesan to serve.

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  • Katie

    My five year old not only liked it, but cleaned her bowl, and my son with Aspergers ate all of his and said it was okay, which for him is high praise. This is going into the regular rotation. Thank you!


  • Mary from NJ

    This is one of the most delicious soups I’ve ever made – and that’s a lot of soups! I did use small white beans instead of chickpeas cause that’s what I had but otherwise everything was the same. I made it Sunday afternoon and combined all except the kale. It filled 3 quart
    containers. Froze one for later. On Tuesday night I heated up two quarts, added the kale and let it simmer until kale was soft. So delicious! Great combination of flavors!

  • Elizabeth

    Chickpeas from the can did not take 20 minutes to cook!

    I followed the recipe exactly. My soup is now done, everything except the chickpeas which are quite hard. It I were making this again, I think I would add the chickpeas with the tomatoes so they could stew longer.

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Elizabeth! This sounds like an issue with the chickpeas that you purchased. Canned chickpeas are ready to eat, no cooking required. In this recipe, you’re just warming them up; not actually cooking them. If your chickpeas were still too hard to eat, then I’d look into a different brand of chickpeas or possibly talk to the manufacturer.

  • Dan

    I think it was great only thing different was I used baby spinach instead of the kale which I would have used if I had it on hand.


  • Val

    Made it exactly as stated in the recipe, it was “ok”, not great.


  • M.K.

    I love this recipe. I come back to it again and again and it has become a comfort food for us. Great dish!


  • Alicia

    This is a winter favorite in my house. I have changed it slightly :-) I use fire roasted tomatoes and cannellini beans since my husband doesn’t like chickpeas. I’ve also used spinach instead of kale but I prefer the kale. Thanks for this recipe!!!


  • Rich

    I’ve made this soup many times and love it. I love that people say this is the best recipe ever and change half the ingredients.
    I’m no different 2#sausage, 44oz of diced fire roasted tomatoes with green chilles, two cans od chick peas.maxed out the Dutch oven. Maybe we should say the most inspiring recipe ever.


  • Cath1way

    Remember to take out the bay leaves prior to adding the kale :) I’ve made this soup numerous times with rave reviews by all. Excellent choice for a cold, wintry day or any time you feel the need for a healthy, comforting bowl of wonderful. I add a pound of spicy Italian sausage and carrots.


  • Doreen

    Seriously the best soup!!! I deleted all my other kale bean soup recipes. I added more bays than recipe called for, but that was only adjustment. Delish.


  • Maureen Lay

    I was wonder the nutrition facts, I made it and it was wonderful, I gave some to one of my friends she loved it, but she’s a diabetic and wanted to know the carbs contents.

  • Morgan

    I made this last night and while I’ve made soups like this one before this blew me away! I’m not sure if it just really fulfilled a craving I wasn’t aware I had or if the chick peas instead of the usual white beans made that much of a difference but thanks for such a great recipe! I’ll definitely make this again!

  • Brooke Shelby Biggs

    Pretty similar to a new bedford-style Portuguese kale soup! I like to play around with the sausage (I am not a fan of italian sausage so I go linguica, or a chicken sausage when I want to lighten it up, or this time Evergood’s Garlic Sausage (omg so good). I add veggies I’m in the mood for too – zucchini or mushrooms are frequent additions. And I ditch the tomato entirely half the time (also not a big fan)

    Another tip for people looking to watch calories or generally lighten the soup up a bit, Trader Joe’s now has a product called “Umami” in a squeeze tube. I use an inch or two of that instead of parmesan rind sometimes and the effect is very similar. Creates a silky mouthfeel, magnifies the flavors, and saves you on fat content.

  • Kristen

    Just made this soup and it is amazing. Hearty and filling. I used chicken sausage, absolutely delicious.


  • Victoria

    I LOVED this! It’s perfect for when you’re sick. And it reheats awesome (on the stove, haven’t tried microwave) Def going to make it again and again and again


  • Kathy Price

    My stomach doesn’t tolerate Kale that well. Is there a different green I could use?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Kathy, you could use spinach instead. Just put it in the soup in the last minute, because it doesn’t take much time to cook at all.

  • Van Nguyen

    I make a similar soup (recipe here http://sharedappetite.com/recipes/rustic-tuscan-style-sausage-white-bean-and-kale-soup/) but with potatos. I like it better with chickpeas than white cannelini beans. While not a soup this pasta recipe with sausage, kale, and tomatoes is amazing http://blog.stayunlost.com/2013/06/busy-foodie-series-sausage-kale-tomato.html

  • Pam

    I just made this soup for dinner on this cold, snowy night. It is delicious and really hit the spot! I didn’t have any bay leaves so left them out but it was fine. Will definitely be making this again! :)


  • Caria

    Soup came out great. I added celery and carrots when cooking the onion. Used dried chickpeas so the cooking time increased. Very hearty stew/soup. Definitely will make it again.


  • Cathy

    I made this last night, substituted hot sausage. It was amazing and even better today.

  • Jennie

    Another great recipe! Thank you!! I used Ro-tel tomatoes because I had them on hand. It was delicious! Next time I will be sure to use regular whole tomatoes.


  • Debbie S

    I made this soup for lunch today and was I ever pleased! I added a bit more of the Italian sausage and about two more cups of kale. It is now one of my favorite soups! What a delicious way to eat more kale.

    Do you think the soup would freeze well with the kale in it?

    Thanks for such a delicious recipe!


  • christine

    LOVED this soup! Perfect blend of everything! I did make it vegan with soy sausage, veggie broth and homegrown tomatoes. I could eat this everyday!
    If I had a sick friend – i would bring her this soup!


  • judy

    Last night had a BIG bowl of sausage kale soup (taken from freezer). It always tastes best the day following cooking.I use lentils,and slice instead of crumbling sausage. Not trying to be a person who changes all ingredients in recipes, just giving an idea

  • Joanna

    At the moment kale features in every single smoothie I make. I guess Kale you are my hero! In a smoothie and soup!

  • Ronna pine

    Omg…..made this today. So GOOD!!!!!!

  • Russ

    Elise, I have prepared MANY foods from your blog, But this is by far the best most tasty thing I have prepared. WOW!!!! People if you are thinking about this do it now. The only thing I did different was I put in a whole pound of the sausage. Elise Thank You, Thank You, Thank You !!!!!!!!!!


  • Tina Doverspike

    I make a similar soup only I use Italian Hot Sausage and Cannellini beans. I sometimes add cubed potatoes, as well. I will have to try it with chick peas. Love all of your recipes, Elise! You made me a huge Kale fan with your Kale, Mushroom and Cheddar Bake. That was devoured standing at the kitchen counter with my husband because we could’nt stop eating it long enough to get it to the table. I make it often.

  • Niketa

    A yummy way to eat kale is , dip clean leaves of kale into a thin batter made of chickpea flower that is seasoned with some salt , paprika and onion seeds or cumin. Deep fry and enjoy with some ketchup!

  • Lone~Wolf

    Looks simply Delicious!!! I can’t wait to try it. Have you thought of trying Chorizo instead of Italian suasage? Just curious.

  • Courtenay

    This recipe looks and sounds wonderful! I’m a kale addict and love soup, so I have lots of favorites, but the best loved ones are-minestrone with kale, a sausage kale soup similar to this one, but mine has potatoes and a glug of cream just before serving, a white bean, garlic and kale soup, a lentil kale soup, and a tortilla soup with shredded kale. I can’t wait to try this recipe. Yum!

  • Natalia Worthington

    Can frozen kale be used instead of fresh, Elise?

  • MM

    Ooh – this looks so yummy! Headed to grocery store today and more kale is already on my list as I use kale every day for smoothies, but want to try it in this soup as well – thanks for sharing the recipe!

  • Woondog

    Not to state the obvious, but this very good recipe only needs the substitution of an equivalent amount of bulk chourico or linguica to become Portugese Kale Soup. Also to bear in mind: chicken broth from your nearest Asian grocery is a very different product than what we get from The Usual Supermarket Suspects, and actually tastes like there was a chicken involved somewhere in the proceedings.

  • Rachel Cooks

    This looks amazing! I love go-to healthy soups like this – perfect for busy week nights. Since you asked…I have one on my site that we I make all the time – 20 minute healthy italian turkey and bean soup. I usually use spinach because I always have it on hand but I’ve made it many times with kale as well with great success.

    If you’re not looking for links, feel free to delete, but this is the soup: http://www.rachelcooks.com/2014/02/03/turkey-bean-spinach-soup-healthy-soup-recipe/