An image of the sausage and white bean soup with Kale and Basil Pesto

Sausage and White Bean Soup with Kale and Basil Pesto

This simple soup incorporates cannellini beans, Tuscan kale, and pork sausage. Chef Scott Samuel adds some pizzazz to the ground pork by adding traditional Andouille flavors: paprika, cayenne, thyme and sage. He suggests swapping spinach for kale in case it is not available. Chef Samuel developed this recipe for a high school food service audience.
Course: Soups & Stews
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Bean type: White bean
Collection: Chef Creation, Video
Servings: 8
Calories: 380kcal
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  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 cups onion peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • 1 pound pork ground
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • ¼ teaspoon thyme dried
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon sage dried
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • cups (or 2 15-ounce cans) Great Northern Beans drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups kale stemmed and chopped
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt

Basic Basil Pesto (Optional)

  • 3 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons garlic chopped, poached or toasted
  • 3 tablespoons walnuts toasted
  • cup extra virgin olive oil
  • cup parmesan or asiago cheese shredded
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste


  • In a medium-sized pot, add the olive oil, onions, and garlic and cook over medium heat until lightly caramelized, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the ground pork and break up with the spoon; brown over medium-high heat until the meat is browned and crumbly, about 6 minutes. Add the salt and pepper, cayenne, thyme, paprika, sage, and bay leaf; cook for another 3 minutes.
  • Stir in the chicken stock and beans. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add the kale and salt and bring to a simmer; cover, reduce heat, and simmer until kale is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove bay leaf.
  • Serve immediately. Drizzle with basil pesto, if desired.

Basic Basil Pesto

  • Plunge basil leaf into a pot of boiling water for 5 to 10 seconds. Immediately drain and plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and set the bright color.
  • Drain and squeeze out all the water that you can.
  • Chop the basil coarsely and add to a food processor or blender along with garlic, walnuts, and olive oil and purée. Transfer to a bowl and stir in cheese.
  • Correct seasoning with salt and pepper. Store covered in refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.


Recipe developed by The Culinary Institute of America as an industry service to the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 380kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 1275mg | Potassium: 800mg | Fiber: 7.5g | Sugar: 4g | Calcium: 130mg | Iron: 3.2mg