White Bean, Kale and Italian Sausage Soup

It’s all about the rind, n’est pas?

I have no idea why I threw a little Francais into that sentence. This isn’t even a French soup. Let me start over.

It’s all about the rind, I MEAN RIGHT, YOU GUYS?

Yeah, that was just straight up obnoxious boulevard.

Question: Do you freeze your cheese rinds? I’ve been freezing mine for years now, and it’s always so funny when I reach into the freezer to get something and I spot my gigantor bag and I say, “oh yeah, there are my horse hooves!” to no one.


Thing is, I tend to clean forget about them. UNTIL NOW, duh duh duuuuuuuuuh.

Bottom line, they are a work of top-secret magic wizardry and you need to know about them. Unless you already know about them. So if you do already know about them, we could talk about something else I guess, like Isaac, or my new-found mission as a 36-year old to really and I mean REALLY try and keep my nails trimmed and painted and to STOP biting them and I just bought this Sally Hansen maximum growth stuff an- oh you DO want to know about the rinds. Oh.


Before we get to it though, can I just say that what happens in this soup will freak your entire mouth. You start by browning some Italian sausage (or chicken, or turkey, or veal, or opossum) all lovely like. Scoot her out of there for a smidge, then bloom a LOT of garlic and some crushed red pepper. I’m already dying. Then you toss a few zucchini moons in there and just kiss it with the garlic. And then the creamy cannellini beans get a good garlic oil massage and your feet start groovin’.


THEEEEEN. Ugh, okay. You add a few cups of chicken stock, a bunk ton of baby kale, and then pause for a moment. This is it. You slip that thar parmesan cheese rind into the soup and suddenly feel the beams of your heart’s lighthouse guiding you into the truth.

It will melt, it will infuse, it will seduce, it will transform, it will send your soup down the path of righteousness.


Noooooo words. Actually, I do have words. But they’re more like squeally utterances:


In short, I died.

This soup is light, but rich. The garlic-infused vegetables and beans are still completely obliterating my memory. The nuttiness imparted from the cheese rind will basically take a baseball bat to your senses and life.

And oh! Squeeze some fresh lemon juice over it right at the end and theeeeeeeere’s that lighthouse again.

Beam on, lovers. Beam on.

White Bean, Kale and Italian Sausage Soup:

What it took for 4:

* 2 Italian sausage links, casings removed and roughly pulled apart
* 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 pinch crushed red pepper
* 1 zucchini, sliced into half moons
* 1(15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
* 5 cups chicken stock
* 5 oz tub baby kale leaves (or one bunch roughly chopped)
* 1 parmesan rind (optional)
* 1 lemon
* coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Brown the Italian sausage in a large pot over medium high heat. Once cooked through, remove from pot and set aside. (cover with a paper towel if you flies. I mean, we totally don’t, but just in case you do.)

To the pot, add the olive oil. Once heated, add the garlic and crushed red pepper. Bloom 30 seconds.

Add the zucchini and sauté 2 minutes. You don’t want any color really. Just toss it with the garlic for flavor. Then add the beans. Toss another minute.

Pour in the stock, then add the kale and parmesan rind. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer on medium for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Using tongs, remove the rind (it will be softer) and discard. Add the sausage back to the pot and simmer 2 minutes. Taste it. Need any more salt? Go riiiight ahead.

Ladle among 4 dinner bowls, spritz with lemon juice and serve with some good garlic crusty bread!


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34 Responses to White Bean, Kale and Italian Sausage Soup

  1. Alyssa | Queen of Quinoa August 30, 2012 at 8:29 am #
    Woo hoo, it's soup season again! Not that I don't enjoy all the summery delights, but soup is just so warm and comforting. It makes me so happy that this recipe still uses those purely summery vegetables, but mixed with the meaty sausage, it make it hearty and filling. Perfect!
  2. Ashley August 30, 2012 at 8:34 am #
    This soup looks amazing, Bev! Can't wait to slurp this up soon!
  3. Alli August 30, 2012 at 8:55 am #
    Rind is my secret weapon for just about any kind of soup I make, except cream based. Bet it could work in those too though. I can't wait to make this. Summer needs to be over already. I love soup season...I mean Fall :).
  4. Ali @ Gimme Some Oven August 30, 2012 at 8:58 am #
    Mmmm....one of my favorite soups is an Italian sausage and kale. LOVE!
  5. Natalie @ Cooking for My Kids August 30, 2012 at 9:10 am #
    Oh, Bev, I would love a big bowl of this right now. Right now. Yes, it is only 9 in the morning, but I could still eat it for breakfast. Yummy delicious perfection!
  6. Cathy @ Noble Pig August 30, 2012 at 9:19 am #
    Slurpity, slurp...I love the rind too!
  7. abbe101 August 30, 2012 at 9:26 am #
    This is defintely going on my list of things to eat - and soon!
  8. GingerMae August 30, 2012 at 10:13 am #
    As usual, Bev your timing is right on! I was just looking at my parm rind asking myself if it was still cheese. I was asking myself that as I was attempting to shred some of it on pasta, but that's another story for different time!
  9. Kari@Loaves and Dishes August 30, 2012 at 11:36 am #
    I do have a big 'ol bag of rinds in my freezer. I'm waiting for Soup season, which is South FLA probably isn't until November, it's still dang hot and humid! This is so going on my list of soups to make in Soup season! (Is there really a season called Soup?)
  10. IdaBaker August 30, 2012 at 4:14 pm #
    This soup looks great. As the name says, I love beans, and these whites are one of my favorites along with the kale. By the way, my daughter used to bite her nails, too, and she stopped by using bright orange nail polish. She said that each time she thought about biting her nails, the color reminded her not to. Just, food for thought...........................
  11. Katie @ Blonde Ambition August 30, 2012 at 5:17 pm #
    This is cray cray, I made a soup justlikethis last night but used spinach! Yours looks better. Sadface.
  12. dhyana August 30, 2012 at 6:11 pm #
    oh, you mean i'm not supposed to eat the rind? ;-) yummy recipe -- cooler nights here in maine -- time for more soups...
  13. Delishhh August 30, 2012 at 8:20 pm #
    Oh that is my kind of soup - just delicious and your pictures are fabulous. Just fyi i am having a 20% sale in my store.
  14. Debs @ The Spanish Wok August 31, 2012 at 2:34 am #
    Delicious recipe. Come join my soup event sometime........ You are welcome to join in my monthly food blogger event THE SOUP KITCHEN, here for entry details and current theme. New theme each month. All bloggers are welcome, hope to see you participate soon.
  15. Sommer@ASpicyPerspective August 31, 2012 at 7:53 am #
    Yes, yes, heavens, YES!
  16. Sues August 31, 2012 at 9:16 am #
    Mmm there's nothing not to like about this soup. I absolutely love every bit of it!
  17. juliawannabe August 31, 2012 at 1:34 pm #
    I absolutely love your descriptive bits! I am making this soup this weekend. Thank you,
  18. Cookie and Kate September 5, 2012 at 1:32 pm #
    Head smack! Why haven't I been freezing my rinds? I never thought I'd utter a sentence like that.
  19. Javelin Warrior September 7, 2012 at 8:46 am #
    Love this soup and the use of the parmesan rind - I often throw them into stocks or soups I'm making and they really do add a nice subtle flavor. I'm featuring this post in today's Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution as always). Thank you so much for keeping me inspired with such delicious creations...
  20. Trista September 15, 2012 at 10:17 pm #
    I was hungry for soup, and found this recipe on Tasty Kitchen. I browsed a bit, but kept coming back to this recipe. So this was dinner tonight! And it was very delicious. :)
    • Bev Weidner September 16, 2012 at 8:10 am #
      Hi, Trista! I'm sooo glad you enjoyed the soup. Now I need some. Of course.
  21. Heather September 21, 2012 at 12:39 pm #
    Hi Bev! I found this recipe by searching for soups on Tastespotting. It sounded like the perfect end-of-summer soup since I had both zucchini and kale from to use from the garden. It was so delish! The perfect comforting bowl of yum for a cool September night here in Northern Minnesota! Thanks for sharing such a lovely recipe!
  22. Jen October 27, 2012 at 12:17 am #
    Made this tonight with a few girlfriends and it was delightful! We doubled the recipe because I like a lot of leftovers, and so we used one can of small red beans, one of cannelini. We used 7 cups of chicken stock, 1 cup of white wine, and 1 28 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes, juice and all. We used just a whole bunch of regular kale and it was plenty, and 1 zucchini. It was very filling but we kept wanting to eat more! The squeeze of lemon really took it over the top. Thanks so much!
  23. Christina November 6, 2012 at 8:29 pm #
    This is one of those recipes I thought looked good, printed out, and immediately forgot about. Until last night. Man oh man do I feel like the dope of the year for not IMMEDIATELY making this.This is a phenomenal soup. I didn't have zucchini so I use what I had on hand which was mushrooms. Out of this world good! I plan to try it next with sweet potato in place of the zucchini.
  24. kari shifflett December 10, 2012 at 3:47 pm #
    Thank you for sharing not only a delicious soup, but such gorgeous photography of it...love it!!
  25. Jennifer January 22, 2015 at 12:14 pm #
    Made this today and it is sooooo good! Easy, fast, and healthy too. This will be a new regular at our house!
  26. Emma in Boston November 13, 2015 at 6:48 pm #
    Just tried making this and it was deeeee-lish! Thanks Bev.
  27. Tracey September 29, 2016 at 3:04 pm #
    Bev can this recipe be doubled??
  28. Ellen March 28, 2022 at 6:09 pm #
    Sooooo good! I have made this soup several times, including to share and always get rave reviews. Today I was short on chicken stock so used turkey stock I had on hand and it was even better! The turkey stock gave the soup a deeper, richer taste. Delish!!


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