Winter vegetables and Italian turkey sausage star in this Easy Sausage, Cabbage, Kale and Carrot soup. Even though we’ve had a relatively warm weekend here in Maine (all the ice FINALLY melted off the driveway!), soup is a standard meal for us all season long. And even though soup is generally an easy meal to prepare, sometimes it’s nice to have it be next to no work at all.
What makes this soup so darn easy? Well, it uses some pre-prepped ingredients straight from the supermarket: shredded carrots and ready-to-cook kale pieces (you can also use jarred, minced garlic), and a box of broth. I tried to make this even easier by using a bag of shredded cabbage (aka coleslaw mix), but I didn’t like how mushy the entire mixture became. Plus, chopping a little cabbage doesn’t take long at all. As for the cooking process itself—no matter which method you choose (Instant Pot or slow cooker—we’ve included directions for both), this soup requires no tending whatsoever.
Feel free to spice up the soup a bit if you like, just be sure to taste it first before adding additional seasonings or hot sauce, as it can vary in spiciness depending on the brand of sausage you use. Oh, and by the way, we tried it with both turkey sausage and chicken sausage and prefer the turkey sausage version, but go with what you like best (or have on hand).
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 pound sweet (or hot) Italian turkey sausage, meat pushed out from casings
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (or 2 teaspoons jarred, minced garlic)
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 medium head cabbage, roughly chopped (1 pound, or about 5 cups pieces)
- 1 cup shredded, spiralized or finely diced carrot
- 4 oz. chopped kale (about 5 packed cups pieces)
- 1 quart gluten-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
- Tabasco to taste, if desired
- Shredded Parmesan cheese for garnish, if desired
- Set Instant Pot to "Saute." Add oil to the pot. When hot, add the sausage meat to the pot. Stir frequently until sausage is lightly browned (it may not be cooked through, it's ok).
- Turn the Instant Pot to "Keep Warm." Add the onions, garlic and seasonings; stir to coat ingredients with the seasonings. Add the remaining ingredients (except for Tabasco and Parmesan), stir again to mix.
- Cover the pot, lock the lid and be sure the valve is set to "Sealing." Set Instant Pot to "Soup" and adjust time to 5 minutes.
- When cooking time finishes, let the Instant Pot sit for 5 minutes before moving the valve to "Venting." When the venting process has finished, remove the cover and stir the soup well. Taste soup, and add Tabasco, if desired. Serve with Parmesan cheese, if desired.
- In a large skillet, over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the turkey sausage meat and onions; cook until meat is browned. Remove from heat and stir the minced garlic and seasonings; set mixture aside.
- Place the chopped cabbage and carrots into the slow cooker crock, top with kale pieces, then pour the broth over top—do not stir. Cover and cook 8 hours on LOW.
- Taste and add Tabasco, if desired. Serve with Parmesan cheese, if desired.
For a vegetarian version, use vegetable broth, eliminate sausage and add a can of rinsed kidney beans (or favorite bean).