Kale and White Bean Soup with Golden Beets and Spicy Sausage

Last week after I got back from Colorado I got deathly ill. And by deathly ill, I mean I had the worst of the worst of head colds…so bad that everything around me sounded like it was coming through a tunnel. My throat burned, my ears crackled and I just felt generally….bad.

So what’s a girl to do? Layer up on her ratty old college sweatpants, over-sized t-shirt and walk aimlessly around Whole Foods grabbing random vegetables that appeared to heal, that’s what.

I loaded up my basket with carrots, beets, celery, kale and Chinese herbs and started the long trek home with all good intentions to make a hearty soup that would calm my throat and open my sinuses. However, when I got home, it was all I could do to throw the groceries in the fridge, plop down on my bed and squeeze my eyes shut, begging for the throbbing to end. I know you know exactly what I’m talking about….head colds are the worst.

So…I didn’t end up making the soup until yesterday when I finally felt normal again. I didn’t expect my cold to last almost a whole seven days but it was a doozy! And now Adam is sick and that’s a whole other story.

This soup was definitely worth the wait though and totally one of those “throw-it-all-into-a-pot” type dishes. Before this, I had never made kale and white bean soup before, and honestly never looked at a recipe for it either! I was going to throw a little cream in at the end to finish it out but my half n’ half had spoiled. It was perfect anyway! I love golden beets for their pretty pale striped color and spicy chicken sausage adds a delicious kick! I had a big bowl last night topped with sriracha (never enough spice!) and crumbled tortilla chips. Like a chili…but not.

I have a feeling (a hopeful feeling) that this soup will freeze well. I now have a huge tupperware filled with it right alongside this guy in my freezer. Soup 4 life!

Kale and White Bean Soup with Golden Beets and Spicy Sausage

serve 6-8

Print this recipe!


1/2 lb spicy chicken sausage, casing removed and thickly sliced

2 medium sized golden beets, peeled and diced

2 large carrots, diced

1 stalk celery, diced

1 leek, thinly sliced

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth

2 15-oz cans white beans, drained and rinsed

1 large bunch green kale, chopped

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp pepper


Heat the olive oil over medium high heat and add the thinly sliced leeks. Saute for five minutes then add sausage.

Brown sausage then add carrots, beets and celery. Toss to combine and continue cooking for another six minutes. Add kale and beans and cook until kale just starts to wilt.

Add chicken broth, salt, red pepper flakes and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes.

Serve with warm crusty sourdough bread on the side.


1 hour


You Might Also Like

  • Molly @ RDexposed
    September 27, 2011 at 4:33 am

    I can’t wait to use my kale in a recipe later this week! And I got super sick during/after my last flight. The sickos need to stay off of the plane!

  • Kathryn
    September 27, 2011 at 4:38 am

    I can imagine that this is the perfect soup for after you’ve been sick – hearty but spicy. Yum!

  • Khushboo
    September 27, 2011 at 4:44 am

    This is like the creme-de-la-creme of chicken soup! THis is the first time I’m seeing/hearing of golden beets!

  • Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray
    September 27, 2011 at 4:47 am

    This looks delicious! Glad you’re feeling better!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    September 27, 2011 at 4:53 am

    This sounds awesome! I love how comforting soups are – whether I’ve got a cold or I’m just having one of those “feeling sorry for myself for no reason” sort of days, soup always makes me happier!

  • Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes
    September 27, 2011 at 4:59 am

    This looks perfect!

  • Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance
    September 27, 2011 at 5:02 am

    Beets in soup!? Oh the magic 😀

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    September 27, 2011 at 5:06 am

    looks like an incredibly healing soup to me!

  • Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga
    September 27, 2011 at 5:07 am

    I love beets and golden beets are the best!

    Your soup looks great but what I am really coveting is the weather blue-painted wood that’s the backdrop for these photos.

    If you wouldn’t mind sharing where you found it or what it is, I’d love to hear. I can be on the lookout for something similar…because I’m in LOVE with it!

  • Corey @ Learning Patience
    September 27, 2011 at 5:14 am

    Yum! I have never ate a yellow beet – love the pretty pop of color! This soup looks delicious!
    xoxo from Houston, this week!

  • Corey @ Learning Patience
    September 27, 2011 at 5:14 am

    Yum! I have never ate a yellow beet – love the pretty pop of color! This soup looks delicious!
    xoxo from Houston, this week!

  • Jen
    September 27, 2011 at 5:15 am

    Yikes – you’ve been getting sick a lot lately – take care of yourself! Maybe it was change in weather?

    I prefer white beans in soup vs. black usually, they’re not as pronounced or something.

  • alyssa - fashion fitness foodie
    September 27, 2011 at 5:18 am

    Love how colorful the soup is!

  • jenna
    September 27, 2011 at 5:35 am

    mmmm…kale and beets! this sounds wonderful.

    i love your blue wood! it looks awesome!

  • Lauren @ What Lauren Likes
    September 27, 2011 at 5:37 am

    Yeah for soup! I have yet to try golden beets though, everything looks amazing 🙂

  • amy walters, aDESIGNdock
    September 27, 2011 at 5:38 am

    This recipe sounds intriguing. Kale?! I’m tempted to give it a whirl 😉

  • Lindsa @ Schnoodle Soup
    September 27, 2011 at 5:40 am

    Sounds delish. This is sort of like Portuguese soup or caldo verde (green soup), which is my favorite soup of all time because I am – as you guessed it – Portuguese 🙂

  • Lola
    September 27, 2011 at 5:41 am

    I always makes Rachael Ray’s Sausage, Kale and White Bean soup when the weather changes or I’m feeling the sickness coming– it is amazing! But she calls for shredded parm chesse on top! Yum!:)

  • Ally @ A Girl In Her Kitchen
    September 27, 2011 at 5:46 am

    Mmmm! Thank you for reminding me how delicious while bean, sausage, kale soup is! I predict a batch in the near future!

  • Caroline @ chocolate and carrots
    September 27, 2011 at 5:56 am

    Colds are no fun. Soup is a great way to recover…especially this one! Yum!!!!

  • Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove
    September 27, 2011 at 6:00 am

    I hate colds. I typically just stay in my PJs and watch bad day-time tv shows. Oh well.

    I’m not sick right now, but this soup looks good to have when it’s chilly out. Maybe this weekend (the temperature is supposed to start dropping).

  • Heather @ Better With Veggies
    September 27, 2011 at 6:01 am

    Beautiful beets! We tried to grow some of those heirloom style this year without much success. Hoping we’ll have better luck this fall. 🙂

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen
    September 27, 2011 at 6:05 am

    This looks like the perfect winter soup even if you’r not sick. I love the spice, not like siracha to open up those sinuses!

  • Hilliary@HappilyEverHealthy
    September 27, 2011 at 6:05 am

    Sounds like a delicious recipe! Fall is perfect for soups, I could eat soup for every meal!

  • Jennifer
    September 27, 2011 at 6:16 am

    What is with these colds right now! I think mine are allergies or just caused by the change in season but not enough throat lozenges in the world can help me

  • Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter)
    September 27, 2011 at 6:28 am

    Mmm, I have been on SUCH a soup kick these past few months.. I don’t know what my deal is. I’m not a big white beans/beets fan, though, so I may have to pass on this guy.. I hope you feel better though!

  • Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning
    September 27, 2011 at 6:42 am

    I just got a HUGE grocery bag full of kale from the farmers’ market for $3.50 this weekend. I think I’ve exhausted myself making kale chips the last few days, and this recipe looks sooooo goooooood.

    I was catching up on your posts and have to chime in about Colorado. My husband and I are obsessed with moving there and have a “5-year plan” to make it out there permanently (though we are looking to move right outside of Boulder). We take a trip there at least once a year and go all over the place, and it’s always so sad to leave. We even got engaged there a few years ago.
    Yay Colorado (but boo to you being sick!!)!

  • Urban Wife
    September 27, 2011 at 6:48 am

    Ugh, yes. Head colds are THE enemy. But I’m glad you’re starting to feel better! 🙂 This soup looks amazing & chock full of good stuff! Am bookmarking it now.

  • Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama}
    September 27, 2011 at 6:51 am

    Golden beets are so pretty! I remember the first time I bought beets myself I thought I bought the regular variety until I cut into them and they were golden ones and I was shocked. 🙂

  • Samantha
    September 27, 2011 at 6:52 am

    Soup ! This is great, I love to make broth based soups. And It’s always good to have recipes with kale in them, I never know how to cook kale, It always comes out bitter and tough for me, I feel like a kale moron when I have to make it.

  • Madison @ Espresso and Cream
    September 27, 2011 at 7:02 am

    This soup looks like it could heal anything. Makes me realize that we should eat stuff like this way more often and maybe it would help me ward off all the colds and sore throats I get throughout the winter in Iowa!

  • Heather @ girlyeverafter
    September 27, 2011 at 7:22 am

    I would say colds are worse than the flu by far. Flus are awful but they only last a day or so, colds have no sense of time. Hope you and Adam feel better;)

  • Heather @ girlyeverafter
    September 27, 2011 at 7:22 am

    I would say colds are worse than the flu by far. Flus are awful but they only last a day or so, colds have no sense of time. Hope you and Adam feel better;)

  • Cristin Ashley @ {A Dash of Spectacular}
    September 27, 2011 at 7:39 am

    This is the perfect recipe for when you’re feeling under the weather! I love the addition of vitamin & nutrient-rich foods to get you back up and running. Printing this out now!

  • Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine
    September 27, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Gorgeous pictures Jenna!

  • Liz
    September 27, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Sounds delicious! I’ve been sick, too, so I feel your pain! (Bronchitis & sinus infection for 2 WEEKS!)

  • Liz @ Southern Charm
    September 27, 2011 at 8:26 am

    LOVE white beans and kale together! Never ever thought of adding beets! How fun and creative. I will definitely have to try this after I return from my mawmaw’s with a jar of fresh white beans (she jars red and white beans. I tend to raid her stash every time I visit. Opps!)

  • Deva @ Deva by Definition
    September 27, 2011 at 8:27 am

    I have difficulty with kale – it’s too chewy/bitter for me. Does this soup help with that?

    • jenna
      September 27, 2011 at 2:09 pm

      Yes totally. The kale softens completely and tastes just like any other green. I love the texture of it along with the texture of the other veggies in the soup. It’s really hearty!

  • Moni'sMeals
    September 27, 2011 at 8:41 am

    This title hooked me in! I love this pic. Wow!

    I have a recipe like this with white beans and kale but you adding the sausage it so smart (I will use a veggie sausage or tempeh).


  • Andrea @ The Skinny Chronicles
    September 27, 2011 at 8:41 am

    Oh no! Sick again so soon after the stomach flu. You are really have a rough go of it! Bummer. Drink lots of tea and give your immune system a big snuggle. Poor dear!

  • Cait's Plate
    September 27, 2011 at 8:49 am

    I love all the colors in this! And to be honest, that huge hunk of bread totally caught my attention. Haha.

  • Mel @ Mel a la Via Paradiso
    September 27, 2011 at 8:54 am

    I’ve always wanted to make my own soup but have never tried! Also, I love the picnic table (?) you shot these photos on. It’s beautiful in its distress!

    • Mel @ Mel a la Via Paradiso
      September 27, 2011 at 8:58 am

      Ooh…it also reminds me a bit of ribolitta. Not sure if you had it before but it’s a Tuscan specialty soup that utilizes day old bread. So good, I loved to order it when I lived in Florence.

      • jenna
        September 27, 2011 at 2:08 pm

        hmmm..I haven’t heard of it, but it sounds interesting! I think a trip to Florence may be in order.

  • Kiah
    September 27, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Every word in this title is enticing.

  • Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather
    September 27, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Sounds very healing! Hope your man feels better soon. Sickness is the worst.

  • jen
    September 27, 2011 at 10:02 am

    jenna sorry if this is a dumb question (hope i’m not the only one) but what are “white beans”? what can do i look for at the store lol? thanks!

    • jenna
      September 27, 2011 at 10:06 am

      cannellini beans! 🙂

  • Danica @ It's Progression Not Perfection
    September 27, 2011 at 10:09 am

    I’ve never even heard of golden beets! Soup is the best this time of year though…that’s not true, it’s good any time of year. Thanks for the recipe! 🙂

  • Bev Weidner
    September 27, 2011 at 10:10 am

    This dinner could take me on a date and I’d let it touch my boob.

  • Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen
    September 27, 2011 at 10:15 am

    This looks super warm and cozy. Glad you’re feeling better! xo

  • Kahea
    September 27, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Ohhhh, yum! Can’t wait to try this recipe! I’ve never actually made kale before (though I’ve had and loved it), so this will be something new! Glad you’re feeling better!

  • Kiran @
    September 27, 2011 at 11:25 am

    It’s freakishly hot over here in Orlando, but this soup looks so inviting. Can’t wait for cooler temps to try.

  • Christena
    September 27, 2011 at 11:27 am

    I’m not a soup person but I love the peeling blue paint! Your photos look like they could be in a cookbook. Will your book have your photos in it?

  • andrenna
    September 27, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Have you ever stopped into the Santa Rosa Community Market. It’s owner-worker run and it’s a pretty neat store, even though it’s small. It’s within a mile of the Santa Rosa Whole Foods, so it’s probably convenient for you, and they could use the business more than the Whole Foods!

    • jenna
      September 27, 2011 at 2:08 pm

      I love that place! I was there yesterday—they have an awesome bulk section!

      • andrenna
        September 28, 2011 at 1:32 am

        I had a feeling you were a fan of Santa Rosa Community Market! Yay for small businesses.

  • laura
    September 27, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    dang girl, for someone as healthy as you are and practices clean eating and so much yoga, you sure do get sick a lot!! do you think something to do with the altitude in colorado had something to do with it? that’s a bummer.. feel like you just recovered from that horrendous flu when your parents were visiting. stay healthy!! take your vitamin c! you’d think you’d be the epitome of health with your lifestyle, but seems like you can’t shake it. best of luck

  • Kelsey @ aslolife
    September 27, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Yum–soups are my absolute favorite to make, especially when you have a lot of farmer’s market veggies left over that you don’t know what to do with!

  • Katrina
    September 27, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    This sounds so yummy!

  • Tara
    September 27, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    I LOVE the table – and photographs – and table. It is just so rustic and cute! Soup looks yummy too! More about the table?

  • Kristin
    September 27, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    So last week I emailed you with a special request for soup and voila! You are so awesome and I can’t wait to make this! Question: I don’t think I have ever in my life eaten a beet. Would this soup be okay without? The kale, white beans and sausage sound like an awesome combination!

    • jenna
      September 27, 2011 at 5:45 pm

      If you’ve never tried beets this is the perfect opportunity to try them! Go for it…you’ll love ’em!

      • Kristin
        September 28, 2011 at 7:13 pm

        Alrighty I’m trusting you on this one and I’ll report back! Thanks!

    September 27, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    For some reason this recipe reminds me of my Grandmother… Super Italian. Though really, technically, it would be more Portuguese influenced than anything I think… Kale soup = <3

    Thanks for another awesome recipe!

  • Mel
    September 27, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    That is the second time in a week or two that I’ve come to your site and seen a recipe that has been on my mind to make literally like, the next day! The first was banoffee pie, and that was delish as well! The version I’ve been dreaming about uses lentils instead of beans and kielbasa–the ultimate, in my opinion, but I have a Polish bias 🙂

  • Alexa @ SimpleEats
    September 27, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    Looks awesome! Definitely one to clear out the sinuses!

  • Lara @ TresLaLa
    September 28, 2011 at 8:38 am

    I tried a similar recipe from Real Simple (minus the beets) and it was terrible. Even the hubby wouldn’t eat it (and he’s pretty good about eating anything that I screw up). Maybe I’ll have to try this one. Or maybe, my hubby will kill me first.

  • Holli
    September 28, 2011 at 10:21 am

    I just made this today….FANTASTIC!! I was starting to feel a cold coming on yesterday, so when I saw this it was perfect.

    Thank you!!

    • jenna
      September 28, 2011 at 10:25 am

      awesome! so glad you liked it!

  • Life to the Full · WIAW: Reflections
    September 28, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    […] pan full of kale; I made Jenna’s white bean kale soup for our small group last night! Super easy, nutrient-dense and filling for a chilly fall […]

  • Kristin Murdock
    September 28, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    This looks AWESOME. I am in love with kale, and there simply isn’t a better partner for it than white beans. Trying it this week!

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie
    September 28, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Okay, usually photos of soup (aside from French Onion, oh the beauty) don’t turn out so well but that photo was enough for me to want to inhale that.

    Maybe it’s because I’m wrapped in a blanket in front of the computer and could use some seriously warm and comforting food.

  • Mich
    September 29, 2011 at 3:43 am

    Hope you are feeling totally back to normal. The hub in my house has some sort of head cold going on and I’m tempted to windex him every time he comes near me as if that will keep the evil demons inhabiting his sinuses away.

    I just bought some golden beets at Whole Foods, not because I know what to do with them though (impulse shopper). Looking forward to making this perhaps with a few finds at the farmer’s market this weekend. Thanks for the idea!

  • Sara B.
    September 29, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    I love kale in soups like this. I usually add it towards the end though, so that it still has a little crunch to it. Do golden beets taste the same as regular beets? I’ve never tried them.

  • Study Breaks | The Girl With The Pink Sneakers
    October 1, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    […] other day on  Jenna’s blog she a posted a recipe for Kale and White Bean Soup with Golden Beets and Spicy Sausage. I thought this sounded like a very healthy recipe and would be perfect since I got a TON of kale in […]

  • Kelly Scanlon
    October 10, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    I made this tonight and my kids said it was the “best soup I have ever made”. WOW! Golden beets are probably my fav veggie…they have an unbelieveable flavor. I did modify a bit: Instead of kale, I used the beet greens! I used an extra carrot and an extra beet and omitted the beans. Thanks for the great recipe, it is definitely a keeper!

    • jenna
      October 10, 2011 at 8:12 pm

      so glad y’all liked it!!

  • Melani Bolyai, L.Ac., Dipl. C.H.
    October 17, 2011 at 8:26 am

    I love Kale!! It’s the super food.
    I want to know what Chinese herbs you put into it! I’m an acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist in Manhattan, and am posting a blog with recipes for immunity-boosting. This seems perfect! I have my patients cook up decoctions of herbs all the time to make into a tea, which is the best way to consume them. But I wonder if putting them into a soup with other stronger flavors reduces the sometimes bitter, yucky flavor that some decoctions can have.

    Melani Bolyai, L.Ac., Dipl. C.H.

  • Ashleigh @
    October 20, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    That soup looks so yummy and comforting. I’ll have to give it a shot. Thanks for always writing such wonderful posts with great recipes! Have you ever tried Organicville’s sriracha? It is truly delicious and is gluten free, preservative free, and vegan! I think you would really like it.

  • Missy
    December 29, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    This was GREAT! I am nursing a cold tonight and this was the perfect remedy. I am vegan, so I made it with veggie broth and vegan sausage (Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage). It was such a filling, hearty, and comforting winter meal. I can’t wait to eat the leftovers for lunch tomorrow, I am sure this soup will be better on the second day!

  • Wine & Butter ›
    December 30, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    […] Spicy Sausage and Kale Soup. We cooked this after our day out at the beach and it turned out wonderful. I LOVE spicy flavours, […]

  • » Making Soup
    January 6, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    […] night we made this delicious kale and white bean soup with spicy sausage. The golden beats were omitted because we […]

  • andrea
    September 19, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Could I leave out the sausage? I dont really like it? Also could you add quinoa?

  • Malkire
    October 10, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    I recently was recommended to your site from a very good friend. I cannot say how happy I am to have found your blog. I will be making this kale dish tonight! Thank you so much. Your work is beautiful

  • kale & spicy sausage stew « snapshots
    October 13, 2012 at 6:19 am

    […] healthy foods and trying to wrangle in our pesky extra ten pounds.  My first recipe from this site, Kale and White Bean Soup with Golden Beets and Spicy Sausage, was a total hit!  Flavorful and reminiscent of Thanksgiving foods, this is a definite repeat […]

  • Ask and You Will Receive | Read and Tell Me
    August 13, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    […] Kale and White Bean Soup with Golden Beets and Spicy Sausage […]