Kale and Kielbasa Soup

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I’m a big fan of Alton Brown. I love learning about what I’m eating. The “whys”, the “wheres”, etc. are important to me. So, let’s talk about kale soup.

I’m constantly looking for new soup ideas and I thought I found a winner. There was only one problem, I also found I’m not particularly fond of kale. I did something horrible a few years ago. I made kale chips and called them zombie chips so the kids would try them. I should have learned my lesson, but no. I even made one of my kiddos throw them up. He was expecting something yummy and I didn’t deliver.

So, why did I decide on this soup? I was looking for something healthy. Screw healthy. What’s the point if it doesn’t taste good.

  • 1 pound kielbasa, sliced 1/4-inch thick, on the bias
  • Vegetable oil, as needed
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound dried red kidney beans, soaked for at least 4 hours or overnight
  • 2 quarts unsalted chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 pound red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 6 ounces fresh kale, washed, rinsed, and torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Brown the kielbasa in a 7-quart Dutch oven and set over medium-low heat until it has rendered most of its fat, about 15 minutes. Remove the kielbasa from the pot and set aside. If you do not have a least 2 teaspoons of fat, add enough vegetable oil to make 2 teaspoons.

Cook the garlic in the fat for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent the garlic from burning. Add the beans, chicken broth, and 2 teaspoons of salt. Cook, covered, for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, stir in the potatoes, cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Toss the kale into the pot, cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or just until it is tender, but not mushy.

Sprinkle with the vinegar and pepper and stir to combine. Return the kielbasa to the pot and cook just until heated through. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more vinegar and salt as desired. Serve hot.

*****From the Recipe Box:

He calls it Christmas Soup because he makes it every Christmas. He even leaves a bowl out for Santa. That’s mean.

Four hours wasn’t long enough for soaking the beans.

I didn’t have red wine vinegar so I used balsamic. Good flavor.

and remember what Vince Lombardi said: If you aren’t fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm. Pretty clever Vince. Big kiss, Lynn

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