White Bean Soup with Sausage Kale and Spinach

White Bean Soup with Sausage Kale and Spinach recipe, carrot, tomato, onion, vermouth

White Bean Soup with Sausage Kale and Spinach

Soup, delicious soup! This recipe for White Bean Soup is probably the best I’ve ever made and one little ingredient made all the difference in the world to the flavor. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to eat the entire pot, but more on that later. Packed with white beans, Italian sausage, onion, garlic, celery, carrots, tomato, kale and baby spinach, this soup is nutritious as well as delicious. 

This morning as I sat on the upper front porch drinking my coffee, somewhere off in the fog-shrouded trees, I heard the first whippoorwills singing their distinctive song. That is a sign of Spring that I am so happy to hear! And, it’s the first sign of Spring that has arrived early this year (normally they don’t begin their mating calls until early April in these parts). I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty much over winter.

While we are still experiencing the frigid weather of Winter, though, I thought another soup would be just the thing. And I was right. This soup was delightful on a gloomy, grey day when we had freezing rain and temperatures hovering in the low 30’s.

I used some Italian Sausage that a good friend of ours made; it was a mild bulk sausage. So, if you purchase mild Italian sausage in links, just remove the casing and crumble to brown. The reason I added spinach is that even though I bought a huge bundle of kale, once I added it to the soup, it wasn’t enough green to satisfy me. So, if you don’t want to have two greens just double the amount of kale.

What made this soup the best version I’ve ever done is one simple ingredient I always keep on-hand for cooking: Vermouth. I used a dry version by Noilly Prat. Vermouth is a fortified wine aromatised with various roots, barks, flowers, seeds, herbs and spices; it adds tremendous depth of flavor to cooking. If you don’t have vermouth handy, you could substitute a dry white wine. But do consider adding some vermouth to your pantry.

Other than that ingredient, everything else is pretty straight-forward and things you’ll likely have in on-hand.

I’d love to tell you how fabulous this soup was as left-overs, or how it freezes (although I’m sure it is great for both), but tragedy struck. I was reeeeeheally tired the day I made this, so after cleaning up the kitchen, I left the stockpot on the stove to cool so I could store it. I went upstairs to get ready for bed, lie down to read for a bit and fell sound asleep. Not only did I not put the soup away, I had left the burner on. It’s a wonder I didn’t burn the house down during the night.

The next morning Mr. Saucy and I both smelled something odd and commenting on it. Well, damned if I didn’t find a pan full of char on the stove (appropriate that I should be publishing this on Ash Wednesday *smile*). I’ll definitely be making this soup again soon, since neither of us got our fill of it. I hope you’ll give it a try, just don’t leave it on the stove!


4.0 from 2 reviews
White Bean Soup with Sausage Kale and Spinach
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
White beans combined with Italian sausage, onion, garlic, celery, carrots, tomato, kale and baby spinach, this soup is nutritious as well as delicious.
Recipe type: Entree, Soup
Serves: 10
  • 1 pound mild Italian Sausage, crumbled
  • 1 medium-sized onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup peeled, sliced carrot
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup vermouth (or dry white wine)
  • 2 -15 ounce cans of white beans, drained and rinsed (I used a combination of Northern and Cannellini)
  • 1 -14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 6 cups torn kale leaves
  • 6 ounces baby spinach leaves
  1. In a large stockpot, over medium heat, add the sausage, onion, celery and carrots, breaking up the sausage as it browns.
  2. Continue to cook until the sausage is browned and the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. If you have a large amount of fat accumulated in the pot, drain it off.
  4. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and continue to cook for about 1 minute.
  5. Pour in the vermouth, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. This is called "deglazing."
  6. Continue to cook for about 2 minutes.
  7. Add the beans, tomatoes (with their liquid), the chicken stock and water. Stir to combine.
  8. Add the torn kale leaves and the baby spinach leaves, stir to combine and cover the pot.
  9. Allow to simmer for about 30 minutes.
  10. Serve hot.


About P ~ The Saucy Southerner

I started cooking when I was ten years old. For me, the process of cooking, from inception of a dish, to the execution, to the washing of the pots is sheer delight. I am now retired from a business I still own, in partnership with my husband. I used to work six days a week and still cook every night. Now, I'm gardening, still cooking, always having fun and hoping to share my joy with you. Thank you for reading...and commenting! P~
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6 Responses to White Bean Soup with Sausage Kale and Spinach

  1. Oh no! Tragedy, P! I’m glad y’all are okay. How did this not come up in our coffee date today???

    • We always have so much to talk about…I guess writing about it was cathartic enough? I thought I’d turned the burner completely off, but I must have not gotten it all the way, so it cooked on low all night. There was nothing distinguishable in the pan, it was just a pile of black. I think the only thing that saved it from catching fire was that I was using one of my commercial grade copper/stainless-lined stockpots. It was still a huge mess to clean up.

  2. Lisa says:

    Hi, Miss P ~
    This looked like a good choice to make for dinner and since we had all the ingredients, (not kale), I made it tonite. Thank you for sharing it! It reminded me of “Wedding Soup” and is very attractive. ok, here are my comments… I doubled the recipe because we love leftovers and sharing with neighbors – all except the red pepper flakes and garlic were not doubled. I used only 2 garlic cloves but added 1/2 tsp of dried thyme since it seemed like it might not have any flavor. And ground pepper. I figured the tomatoes and beans (I used both types) had enough sodium so I didn’t add salt. Used regular link sausage as we didn’t have Italian. The pepper flakes were really powerful – a delayed spice kick that gotcha in the back of the throat. I’m glad I didn’t double that! Our soup was “soupier” than yours; probably due to lack of kale. Zucchini would be a good addition for leftovers. Also, I served grated parmesan on the soup, and a side of crispy fried polenta slices. Yes, I did add vermouth. I think that the soup needs some kind of characteristic flavor for a wow factor – maybe add oregano…. Lisa in Indy

    • Lisa, thank you so much for making it and commenting. I’m sorry the red pepper flakes were too hot for you. I will amend the recipe to add them to taste. My soup was soupier than it appears, since I didn’t add a ton of the broth to the bowl when I shot it. And perhaps mine was more flavorful because of the seasoning in the sausage I used. I really appreciate you taking the time to give suggestions about how you’d improve it! P~

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