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Rustic Turkey Italian Sausage Soup with Potatoes & Kale

I love silent compliments.  Sometimes those are better than traditional, spoken compliments.

For instance, last Thanksgiving I prepared one of the turkeys at my in-laws house in Texas.  My way of doing turkey is a bit of a departure from the traditional way.  I brine it, smoke it, and baste it with turkey gold (as I call it).  If you want to read about it, click here.

During the preparation I could tell my father in law wasn’t sold on the whole process of sticking a turkey in a giant ziploc bag with lots of liquid, then smoking it, and rubbing this paste all over the it.  Inside I got a chuckle because he must have thought his Yankee daughter in law had lost her mind.  When he was done carving the bird, he licked his fingers, paused for a moment, and just smiled at me. A big, wide Texan smile.

Here’s the photo I took as he was carving the turkey

It was the best compliment I’d ever gotten on my food–no need for words because his smile said it all.

Last night I made this soup for four reasons:

  1. It’s almost fall.
  2. Football is back!  One of my biggest joys is a big pot of soup or chili simmering on the stove for hours while we enjoy the games on TV.
  3. I felt like it.
  4. So I did.
I didn’t make a big fuss, just spent the afternoon in the kitchen, watched some football, and told my husband to help himself when he was hungry.
He ate a bowl and didn’t say anything but then he got up and I heard him filling his bowl again.  I looked up and he just smiled at me; a big wide Texan smile.
It was the second best compliment I’ve ever gotten on my food.
And for a soup with kale in it, that’s “saying” a lot.

Rustic Turkey Italian Sausage Soup with Potatoes & Kale

I served the soup with small baguette rounds, topped with olive oil, salt, pepper, and toasted in the oven. Before they get too golden brown, sprinkle them with parmesan cheese and finish under a hot broiler until the cheese is bubbly. No sense in giving you a recipe or measurements since you can make as much or as little as you need.


  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 pkg (19.5oz) turkey Italian sausage
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 8 c. stock (I used veggie stock here)
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 3 large kale leaves, stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 c. parmesan cheese
  • 1 c. half & half
  • Salt & pepper


  1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Remove the sausage meat from the casings and brown in the oil using a spatula to crumble the turkey.
  2. Add in the basil, thyme, and pepper flakes. Stir to combine and brown the meat until no longer pink.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions and garlic to the pot. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Pour the stock into the pot and bring to a boil. Add in the potatoes and kale. Cover and reduce to medium low. Simmer the soup for one hour.
  5. After an hour, whisk in the parmesan cheese. Once the cheese has melted, pour in the half & half. Stir until heated through. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Filed under: Soups & Salads


Writer of recipes. Storyteller with a food twist. Sarcasm/humor served on the side.

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