This Low Carb Kale Sausage Soup is one of our favorite low-carb soups, with hearty chunks of sausage and kale in a creamy broth.
» Check out our other hearty low-carb soup recipes.
You might not know this, but sausage and kale go really well together, and when you add them to a creamy broth, it becomes a soul-warming soup that you’ll want to eat all the time.
A soup like this, with pork sausage and kale, is called Zuppa Tuscano in Italy, although the Italian version always includes potatoes or white beans. I created this soup based on the Italian soup because the flavors are so delicious together, but I’ve made it low-carb by removing the starches.
It’s truly one of my favorite soups and I’m thrilled that it can be made low carb in a very easy way, so I can still enjoy it on my low-carb diet. This version doesn’t use a lot of onions and has no tomato paste, which can add additional unnecessary carbs. Believe me, you won’t miss them.
Ingredients You Need
The ingredient list for this soup isn’t extensive. It includes the following:
- Pork sausage – see the notes below
- Chicken or vegetable broth
- Kale – Make sure to cut the hard stem off the kale and chop it into small pieces. In a pinch, you can use fresh spinach instead of kale.
- Cherry Tomatoes – you can also use a can of chopped tomatoes or chopped fresh large tomatoes
- Heavy cream or half and half
- Salt, pepper, chili flakes
- Parmesan cheese
What Sausage to Use
If you’re wondering what type of sausage to use for this recipe, it’s flexible. To me, the best sausage to use is one that has some seasoning mixed in. I use spicy ground sausage (Jimmy Dean Hot), because it has a ton of flavor and it’s not too spicy.
I’ve also used spicy Italian ground pork, I’ve removed the casings from Italian sausage, and I’ve used plain ground sausage. If you use plain ground sausage, you might want to add some additional seasonings (oregano or Italian seasoning).
Whatever sausage you use, just make sure it doesn’t contain extra hidden carbs in the form of sugars.
How to Make Kale Sausage Soup
Brown the sausage in a large soup pot over medium-high heat, breaking up the meat into small pieces as it cooks. When done, transfer sausage to a plate.
Cook the bacon in the same pot over medium heat until crispy. Drain, leaving about 1 tsp of the drippings in the pot. Add the cooked bacon to the plate with the sausage.
Sauté onions in the pot and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.
Increase heat to high, pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Season with salt, pepper, and chili flakes.
Reduce heat to medium. Add back in the sausage and bacon. Add the kale and tomatoes. Let simmer for 10 minutes, until the kale has softened.
Add heavy cream. Heat through. Serve with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on the top.
- It adds an extra depth of flavor to sauté the kale in the bacon drippings before adding it to the soup. I do this whenever I have time and it does make a difference, but you can skip this step, if you want.
- This soup isn’t thick. If you want to thicken it up a little bit, you can add 1/4 tsp xanthan gum and let it simmer to thicken. I don’t find this necessary. I like the brothy soup, especially on cold days.
- If you like a tomatoey broth, add 2 tbsp tomato paste when you add the broth. Remember that adding tomato paste will add to the carbs in the soup.
Can Kale Sausage Soup Be Frozen?
This soup doesn’t freeze well due to the addition of the cream. If you want to freeze some of the soup, I would suggest reserving what you wish to freeze before adding the cream. Freezing it without the cream will allow the reheating of the soup without clumpy broken cream.
Reheat the frozen soup on the stovetop and add the cream once the soup has been fully reheated.
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Low Carb Kale Sausage Soup
- 1/2 lb ground pork sausage
- 4 ounces bacon chopped
- 1/4 cup onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 3 cups kale chopped, hard stems removed
- 15 cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Parmesan cheese shredded for serving
- Brown the sausage in a large soup pot over medium-high heat, breaking up the meat into small pieces as it cooks. When done, transfer sausage to a plate.
- Cook the bacon in the same pot over medium heat until crispy. Drain, leaving about 1 tsp of the drippings in the pot. Add the cooked bacon to the plate with the sausage.
- Sauté onions in the pot and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.
- Increase heat to high, pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Season with salt, pepper, and chili flakes.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add back in the sausage and bacon. Add the kale and tomatoes. Let simmer for 10 minutes, until the kale has softened.
- Add heavy cream. Heat through. Serve with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on the top.
- In order to make this soup keto friendly, omit the onions and use less kale
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Read More About a Low-Carb Lifestyle
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Laura is an avid home cook and recipe creator. She shares her favorite low-carb recipes here that are both easy to make and full of flavor, so you don’t even miss the carbs.