Soup, Meet Crockpot

One of the biggest uses of my crockpot this time of the year is in the making of soup. Everything from chicken and wild rice to hearty lentil and sausage soups take their turn being the star of the show. But one of my all-time favorite soups is a great Kale-Sausage-Bean Soup that pulls most of its ingredients from our CSA box. We've only got about a month left before CSA season is over, but when you can turn to the contents of the autumn boxes and put together a soup like this with a few seasonings, some dried beans, and a half a pound of sausage, I'm one happy camper.

I finish this soup by swirling a little heavy cream into it, but that step is entirely optional if you want to keep it dairy free. What makes this soup so great is that making a giant batch of it means dinner one night, lunch the next two days, and maybe even another dinner before you've exhausted the leftovers. What boils down to a little effort one day feeds you and yours for what seems like an eternity.

What's more, because it's packed with beans, potatoes, and sausage, you don't ever think of it as a skimpy meal. Sometimes soup can leave you feeling a little underwhelmed and that's just not what this meal is all about. The sausage I chose to include was actually a pork-bacon sausage that really shined in this recipe. I'm sure it would be great with Italian sausage, as well. I like to serve it with crusty bread, but crackers will do if you are in a rush over the lunch hour. Enjoy!

Kale-Sausage-Bean Soup

  • 1/2 pound sausage
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3-4 small potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups dried white beans
  • 3-4 cups broth (chicken, turkey, or vegetable broth will work)
  • 1 large bunch kale, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Additional water, as needed
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, optional

In a skillet, cook the sausage, onion, and garlic until the sausage is browned and the onion and garlic are softened. Pour into the bottom of a 6 quart crockpot.

Add the potatoes and dried beans to the crockpot and cover the contents with the broth. Cover the crockpot and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or until the beans and potatoes are softened.

Add the kale, seasonings, and additional water if the soup has become too thick. Allow the soup to warm for about 30 minutes before stirring thoroughly and, if desired, swirling in the heavy cream before serving.

  • Yields: 8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 8 hours