This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
A savory, comforting, hearty soup made with fresh ingredients to soothe both your gut and your soul. A nightshade-free Italian sausage compliments a rich broth and is full of flavor! Paleo, Whole30, and AIP
Soup season is back! I'm definitely not a soup person when it's hot out, but once it gets chilly? I'm all in.
I love how warm and comforting soup is, how it seems to warm you up from the inside and take that chill away. I also love how the warm broth soothes the back of your throat and just makes you feel great.
There's just something meditative about soup as well – the very nature of having to balance the broth on a spoon makes it harder to eat than just stabbing your fork into something, so you have to pay attention a bit more. Plus the added heat doesn't allow you to eat too quickly. It kind of forces the whole mindful eating thing, slowing you down, enjoying each bite more.
This Italian Sausage Soup is a hearty soup – one that can be used as a meal by itself, or as a part of a meal as well. It's both filling and delicious and stores well in the fridge for a few days – meal prep win! (Plus you can freeze it after cooking as well!)
It also is a nightshade-free soup, so if you're on the AIP diet or avoiding nightshades due to your autoimmune disease, you're in luck. You won't even miss them – it's tasty enough without them!
Ingredients in this Italian Sausage Soup (and substitutions)
Because this is a nightshade-free soup, you'll be making your own Italian sausage. It's not hard to do though – it's simply adding some spices to some ground meat.
Ground Pork – This is the typical meat for an Italian sausage and what I like the best, but if you don't like, can't have, or can't tolerate pork you can use any ground meat you'd like instead.
Herbs and Spices – you'll use dried Parsley, Italian Seasoning (make sure there is no fennel if you're on AIP), Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, and Sea Salt for this. If you're not on AIP do feel free to add some fennel seed and crushed red pepper if desired – but these are NOT AIP friendly.
Onion – this is for flavor. I recommend a yellow onion, but you can substitute with what you have on hand or even a shallot.
Carrots– you need just 2 medium-sized carrots for this soup, and it's to give it both flavor and more nutritional value with another veggie. If you can't tolerate carrots or don't like them, you can replace them with diced sweet potatoes, butternut squash, parsnips, kohlrabi, or omit them entirely.
Garlic– another flavoring element. Omit if you can't have it. If you can have it but don't have any fresh I'd just omit it as well as garlic powder is already in the meat, so you'll still get that flavor.
Chicken Broth – you can use your own homemade broth/stock or purchased (look at the ingredients if you're on AIP!). I like chicken broth the best for this soup because it's light and the flavor works well with the other ingredients, but beef or vegetable stock can also work well.
Kale – I love curly kale in this soup because it's got some texture to it, plus it compliments the flavors well. You can also use lacinato/dinosaur kale (flat-leafed) as well, it doesn't matter. However, if you are not a kale fan, feel free to replace it with a green you'd rather eat. Some choices could be baby spinach, chopped chard leaves (not the stems), chopped collard greens, arugula, or cabbage.
Coconut Milk – just a small amount is used in this soup, but it gives it a slight creaminess. You don't actually taste the coconut though if that is a concern. However, if you can't tolerate coconut and are on the AIP diet, you can use tigernut milk or sweet potato milk, and if you're not on AIP you can use a milk of choice.
How to make this soup
This soup is not difficult to make (see the recipe card below for exact instructions):
- Cook the pork (or meat of choice) in a dutch oven or large sauce pan over medium heat and add the seasonings while cooking.
- Remove the meat from the pan, set aside, and cook the carrots and onions for a few minutes until the onions start to turn translucent. Then add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the broth to the pan, scrape up any brown bits from the bottom, and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the meat back to the pan, add the chopped up kale, and the coconut milk (or the milk you're using) and simmer for 5 more minutes. Serve!
Meal Prepping and Freezing the soup
This soup can be made up to 5 days ahead of time and stored in the fridge. Just reheat before eating.
It also is a great soup to freeze AFTER cooking. Let cool and then put into a freezer-safe container or bag and freeze up to 3 months. Then when you want to cook it either let it thaw in the fridge overnight and then reheat, or reheat gently on the stove directly from frozen.
More delicious Paleo and AIP soups
Tandoori Pumpkin Soup (Paleo, Whole30, AIP) – this is a delicious, creamy, Indian-flavored soup
Thai Chicken Soup (Paleo, Whole30, AIP) – a super flavorful – despite no nightshades – Thai-flavored soup. This one is a great dump-and-go freezer meal (freeze without any cooking) as well
Asparagus Soup (Paleo, Whole30, AIP) – a creamy springtime soup, this one is not boring at all due to the use of pancetta or bacon to give it a salty flavor
More Helpful AIP & Paleo Resources in the Freebie Library
If you find this recipe helpful, you may really enjoy the resources in my Paleo & AIP Freebie Library! There's a “dump” freezer meal plan, a list of AIP-compliant breakfast toppings, and so much more. Plus, you'll get even more ideas sent to your inbox! Get the password here.
Italian Sausage Kale Soup Recipe
If you make this soup I'd love to hear how it turned out! Either comment below or share a pic on Instagram and tag me @thrivingonpaleo!
Italian Sausage Kale Soup (Paleo, Whole30, AIP)
- 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
- 1 lb Ground Pork (or ground meat of choice)
- 1 tsp dried Parsley
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- 1 medium Onion (diced)
- 2 medium Carrots (finely diced)
- 2 cloves Garlic (minced)
- 3 cups Chicken Broth
- 1 bunch Kale (chopped, stems removed)
- 1 cup Coconut Milk (or Tigernut Milk or Sweet Potato Milk if coconut-free AIP, or milk of choice if not on AIP)
- Heat the oil in a large sauce pan or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the ground pork, breaking it up with a spatula. Add the parsley, Italian seasoning, sea salt, garlic powder, and onion powder and mix with the pork as you break it up. Cook until the meat is browned, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the pan and put it on a plate.
- Add the onions and carrots to the same pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 5-8 minutes.
- Add the garlic, and cook for a further 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
- Pour in the chicken broth and using the spatula, scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring the broth to a boil and then simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the chopped kale, the cooked meat, and the coconut milk into the pan. Mix to disperse everything and then simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Serve warm.