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Runner Food: Spicy Sausage, Kale, and White Bean Soup

By January 11, 2013 6 Comments
Let’s start with this:  You don’t need to be a “runner” to eat my food.  But deep down, you know you’re a runner, don’t you 🙂

This soup is quite possibly my favorite soup ever.  Inspired by Olive Garden’s, Spicy Sausage Kale soup, my husband got busy and recreated it for me a few years ago.  Thank you, darling!
The ingredients:  5 spicy sausage links, garlic, water, bouillon, 2 russet potatoes, cannellini or white beans, 1/2 bunch kale, salt and pepper to taste.

Notice I took the picture from this angle so the kale would stand out instead of the sausage.

Not that there’s anything wrong with sausage!  Unappealing?  Well, even runners need a little fat.  You can, of course, get sweet sausage or mix sweet and spicy.  But I love the spicy.  After it’s all mixed in with the other ingredients, it’s perfect. Even my kids love it.  DO NOT get breakfast sausage or something like that. I know, from disastrous experience, that breakfast sausage is not the same.

Sometimes I can find the spicy sausage patties.  But alas, not today.  Cut down the middle of the sausage and peel it out.  Until a few years ago, I had no idea you could do such things!

Are you horrified?  Over medium heat, drop the sausage in. No need for oil.

Sausage casing.  Interesting, no?  Discard.

Let’s move on to the garlic.  Heap it in.  Mmmmm.

Use your wooden spoon to separate sausage into little pieces.  After the sausage is cooked (a few minutes), add 10 cups water.  Of course, you could make a smaller batch, but I could not do such a thing.  I eat too much.

Wash and cut 2 medium russet potatoes.  Leave peel on.  Red potato is fine, too, but russet gives this soup a nice rustic, earthy flavor.  I’ve always wanted to write that.

Add 10 bouillon cubes.  We buy bouillon in bulk.  Now, cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes so all those wonderful flavors can meld together.

Wash and cut large bunch of kale.  Cut up half.  Save rest for smoothie love.

Rinse 1 can of cannellini beans.  

Add to soup and let cook for about five minutes.  Oh my gosh, does my stove actually look…gasp…clean!??!

Add chopped kale.  Let cook 5-10 minutes.

Watch the kale here.  You don’t want it too crunchy, but you don’t want your potatoes to be mushy either.  Easy does it.

And then serve.  And weep with happiness.  Mouth is watering.  This is the perfect soup for a cold January night, especially when paired with some crusty bread.  Truly yum-yum!

Spicy Sausage, Kale, and Cannellini Bean Soup:
5 spicy sausage links (or 4 patties)
1 tablespoon garlic
10 cups water
10 chicken bouillon cubes
2 medium russet potatoes
1 can cannellini (or white) beans
1/2 big bunch kale
salt and pepper to taste

And run fast.

In case you want the nutritional goods:
  • How good is kale for you?  Oh, it’s soooo good:

The good: This food is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.

Read More

  • How good are cannellini beans for you?  

High in protein, complex carbohydrates and fiber, yet low in fat.  They’re also packed with minerals and B vitamins.

  • Russet potatoes?  The most popular vegetable in the United States.  Yes!

The good: This food is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Vitamin B6, Potassium and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin C.

Read More



  • annewoodman says:

    Yum, yum, yum, Amy! I have a similar recipe, and we eat it up! Yeah, I don’t get the non-sausage eaters… a little bit of sausage can transform a healthy dish (into something less healthy but infinitely more tasty ; ). Your photography with food is so good. I can never get that right.

  • Delish! You’re right, even non-runners can enjoy your food. 🙂

  • These are all my favorite foods in one bowl. I can’t wait to make it! : )

  • allison says:

    I’m shivering at my table right now, craving that soup! Looks delish, I’ll have to make it. I’ve made a ripoff of Olive Garden’s chicken gnocchi soup – they certainly have amazing soups, don’t they?

  • Shirley says:

    I this soup! Thanks for the recipe. Your version looks a little healthier.

  • Shirley says:

    Made this for supper tonight. SOO good! I used 3 sausage links (we’re not runners). I was generous with ground pepper to compensate. We like a little more substance so after cooking the potatoes, I put half in the food processor before adding to the pot. Had seconds. :>)

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