Spicy Sausage, Kale, and Orecchiette Soup


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 sweet onion, diced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 pound spicy italian turkey sausage
1 cup whole wheat orecchiette pasta
4 cups fresh kale, remove from stems and torn into pieces
1/4 cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese, plus more for sprinkling


Heat a large pot over medium-low heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion with the salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and stir. Cook until onions soften, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the garlic and cook for 1 more minute, then add the chicken stock, increase the heat to medium-high and bring the liquid to a boil.

While the stock is heating up, heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the sausage from the casing (if it’s in casing) and add it to the skillet with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until the sausage is browned, about 6 to 8 minutes, breaking it into smaller pieces (or whatever size you desire) with a wooden spoon. Turn off the heat.

When the stock is boiling, add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, just until it’s al dente. Add the kale and stir well, cooking for 2 more minutes. Stir in the cheese, then taste and season with more salt and pepper if desired. You can add all of the sausage into the soup or serve the soup into bowls and add the sausage on top per serving. Serve with extra cheese for grating. Make sure to turn the heat off underneath the soup to prevent the noodles from getting super soggy.