Hello again! I’ve said it a few times already, but let me repeat myself again: I LOVE SOUPS 🙂 And since I haven’t published a soup recipe in a while, let’s fix that now. The one I’m about to show you today is my favorite Loaded Kale Soup.
This kale soup is literally loaded with flavors and it’s so thick that it can easily replace a main dish. There are potatoes, sausages, carrots, lots of kale and a special ingredient: smoked pork ribs. So it’s not just a regular “sausage kale potato soup” like most of the recipes out there. Since I’m starting by boiling the smoked ribs first and then using the simple stock in the kale soup, it has a very nice mild smoky flavor.
TIP: I know it’s not always possible to buy smoked ribs, but that’s not a problem. You can use any smoked pork for this kale soup… smoked ham, smoked hock/knuckle or even smoked neck bones. These all would work fine!
Want to try some other soups? You have to try my Sauerkraut soup! I also have a Loaded bean soup recipe here on the blog and this Lettuce soup is quite unusual and worth a try.
What Kale To Use For This Soup?
I’m using any green kale type that I can buy, literally. Whether it’s Tuscan, curly kale or baby kale, it doesn’t really matter that much for this kale soup recipe. It really depends on what you can find on the shelves.
You just have to follow one rule. The hard parts have to be removed before cooking the kale. If you buy just the leaves it’s easy, just cut off the ends of the stems. When working with the whole head of kale, you need to cut it into halves and then remove the whole white stem that runs through it.
TIP: If you want to learn more about the various kale types, check this article.
Kale Soup Recipe Ingredients
These amounts will make a full 4 quarts or 4 liters pot of soup.
1 pound or a bunch of kale
1 pound of potatoes
1-1,5 pounds of smoked ribs
1 large sausage
4-5 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons of tomato puree
2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of Italian herbs
2 tablespoons of red paprika
1 teaspoon of marjoram
1 teaspoon of crushed caraway seeds
3 bay leaves
6-8 allspice corns
½ teaspoon of black pepper
salt to taste
How To Cook This Kale Soup
Watch the video or scroll down for step-by-step instructions:
Let’s start by boiling the pork ribs. We need the meat to become tender so it’s easy to take off the bones and at the same time, we’re making a smoky stock that will come to good use later on. This is actually the thing that makes this particular kale soup recipe different.
Drop in 3 bay leaves and a few allspice corns to get some extra flavors into the stock and boil for about 30 minutes. Don’t add any salt at this point, smoked meat is almost always very salty.
Once the ribs are cooked, take them out of the pot and let cool down. This will take a few minutes so we have time to work on the other steps of this kale soup recipe.
Now heat up some olive or vegetable oil in a large pot and add 2 finely chopped onions. Saute on high heat until translucent. Next come 4 or 5 sliced garlic cloves. Saute for 2 more minutes and then add one large sliced sausage.
TIP: The choice of sausage is on you again, I prefer to use proper Polish or Hungarian style sausage (Kielbasa) that has a high paprika content. I think it fits this kale soup the best, but feel free to use your favorite type.
Saute for 3 more minutes and go on with 2 heaping tablespoons of tomato puree. The base is almost ready, we just need some more spices in it. Add 1 teaspoon of crushed caraway seeds, 2 tablespoons of red paprika and finish it up with 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour. Saute for 2 more minutes, while mixing frequently.
TIP: Caraway is often mixed with Cumin, but it’s not the same! Cumin is way more fragrant so if you decide to use it as a substitute, use half the amount.
It’s time to use the stock we made a while ago. Remove the bay leaves and allspice corns if you haven’t already and pour all of it into the pot. Mix quickly to deglaze the bottom of the pot.
Add 2 chopped carrots and of course the main star of the show, finely sliced kale. The amount of kale needed depends on what type you can find in the store. If they sell just leaves, go for one bunch. If they sell the whole head, take one of them. To put it simply, we need about 1 pound or 500 grams of kale leaves, without the tough stems which need to be removed.
Add 1 teaspoon of Italian herbs, mix properly and bring to a simmer with the lid on.
TIP: You can skip the Italian herbs, but I always use them since I want my kale soup to have a nice Mediterranean aroma.
The ribs should be cool enough to handle by now, so take the meat off the bones. It should go easily, simply by using your hands. And finally, cut the meat into small chunks with a knife.
The kale soup has been simmering for a few minutes so the kale has lost some volume already and we can move on. Add about 1 pound or 500g of diced potatoes and all of the smoked meat we have prepared.
If there is some space left in the pot, fill it with water or extra stock if you haven’t used all of it yet. Season the kale soup with black pepper, we need about half a teaspoon. Mix properly, put the lid back on and simmer on low for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are fully cooked.
Once the potatoes are tender, it’s time to check the flavor of our kale soup. We haven’t used salt yet, that’s because smoked pork ribs are always very salty so we needed to wait until the end. I had to add about half a teaspoon but definitely go by your own taste here.
I’m using one last ingredient to give the soup a nice fragrant touch. It’s dried marjoram and I’m adding a full teaspoon. Simmer for 2 or 3 more minutes and our kale soup is finished. This step is optional and you can skip it, especially if you already added the Italian herbs.
And there we have it, loaded kale soup that will warm both your body and soul, just like any good soup. If you liked this video, please give it a like and subscribe to my channel. See you next week.
Optional Tips For This Soup Recipe
- Cannot find any smoked pork in your store? Replace the red paprika with smoked one and double the amount of sausages.
- Want to use more vegetable types? Apart from carrots, you can use beans, parsley or parsnip root, zucchini, kohlrabi, celery or even mushrooms in this kale soup.
- Are you a fan of spicy food? Drop in some chilies, spicy paprika or use spicy sausages.
- Can you freeze this kale soup? Yes, most soups freeze just nicely, but expect the vegetables to break up a little bit and lose some of their texture.
- In case you’re not about to use smoked pork and prepare the stock from it, use chicken or beef stock/broth instead.
Loaded Kale Soup
- 500 grams or a bunch of kale
- 500 grams of potatoes
- 1 large sausage
- 500-750 grams of smoked ribs
- 2 onions
- 4-5 garlic cloves
- 3 carrots
- 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
- 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of Italian herbs
- 1 teaspoon of marjoram
- 1 teaspoon of crushed caraway seeds
- 2 tablespoons of red paprika
- 3 bay leaves
- 6-8 allspice corns
- ½ teaspoon of black pepper
- salt to taste
- Start by boiling the smoked ribs in 2.5 – 3 quarts/liters of water. Add 3 bay leaves and 6-8 allspice corns. Boil until the meat becomes tender.
- Once the meat is tender, take the ribs out of the pot and let cool down. Do NOT discard the stock we have just made! We will use it to make the kale soup in a few minutes.
- Heat up some olive or vegetable oil in a large 4 quarts/liters soup pot. Add 2 finely sliced onions and sauté on high until translucent.
- Add 4-5 finely sliced garlic cloves and sauté for 2 minutes, then add sliced sausage and sauté for 2-3 more minutes.
- Add 2 heaping tablespoons of tomato puree and sauté for 2 minutes again.
- Go on with 1 teaspoon of crushed caraway, 2 tablespoons of red paprika and 2 tablespoons of flour. Keep sautéing for 2 minutes, while mixing frequently.
- Add the stock we have made a few minutes ago when boiling the ribs. Mix properly to deglaze the bottom of the pot.
- Add 2 chopped carrots and all of the kale. Mix in 1 teaspoon of Italian herbs, cover the pot and simmer on low.
- Now back to the ribs. These should be cool enough to handle by now so use your hands to take the meat off the bones. Cut the meat into small chunks with a knife.
- Dice about 1 pound or 500 grams of yellow potatoes and add them to the soup, along with the meat. If there is still space left in the pot, fill it with water or extra stock if you have some left. Add half a teaspoon of black pepper and simmer on low until the potatoes are fully cooked.
- Give the soup a taste and add salt now, if needed, which should be the case. I had to add almost a full teaspoon, but it always depends on how salty the smoked meat was.
- Finish it up with a teaspoon of dried marjoram, cook for 3 more minutes and we are done.
- Serve this kale soup with fresh bread, sourdough works the best. Enjoy!
Love your kale soup, Matej! I am a huge soup fan and this is one of the best I had, thanks!
Absolutely delicious! I love the idea of using smoked ribs, it goes so well with the kale and potatoes. Great recipe.
This looks so hearty and comforting!
Super delicious! All the flavors together in perfect harmony. I was a bit skeptical until my first spoonful and then love with each bite.
Thank you for a great recipe