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Kalyn's Kitchen

Italian Sausage and Kale Soup with (or without) Whole Wheat Orzo

I love this Italian Sausage and Kale Soup with Whole Wheat Orzo, but skip the orzo or use cauliflower rice if you want a soup with less carbs. Use Soup Recipes to find more recipes like this one.

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Italian Sausage and Kale Soup Recipe with (or without) Whole Wheat Orzo found on KalynsKitchen.com

I really enjoyed this Italian Sausage and Kale Soup using whole wheat orzo, and orzo is such a perfect soup ingredient if you don’t need a soup that’s low-carb and gluten-free. But now that I’ve discovered that cauliflower rice is such a perfect way to add some texture to low-carb soups, I’d make a delicious lower-carb soup using this recipe by skipping the orzo and stirring in some cauliflower rice in at the end.

Sausage, kale, and tomatoes sounds to me like a combination that could inspire a lot of good recipes! And this soup has a generous amount of kale so the soup is extra nutritious! If you like these flavors , this Italian Sausage and Kale Soup is definitely a winner.

Italian Sausage and Kale Soup Recipe with Whole Wheat Orzo (or broken spaghetti) found on KalynsKitchen.com

Saute the onions in a heavy pot big enough to hold all the soup, then add garlic, ground fennel, dried basil, and dried oregano and saute a few minutes more. While the onions are cooking, squeeze the turkey Italian sausage out of the casings and brown it in another pan, breaking up with the back of a turner. Deglaze the sausage pan and add that liquid to the soup with the browned sausage, chicken stock, and beef stock and start to simmer.

Italian Sausage and Kale Soup Recipe with Whole Wheat Orzo (or broken spaghetti) found on KalynsKitchen.com

Let the soup simmer about 20 minutes while you chop up the kale. Then add the chopped kale and simmer about 20 minutes. Add the can of tomatoes and simmer 20 minutes more. Then add 1/2 cup whole wheat orzo (or broken spaghetti or use a slightly larger amount of cauliflower rice) and simmer about 20 minutes more, or until the pasta or cauliflower rice is tender. Serve hot, with freshly grated Parmesan to add at the table.

Italian Sausage and Kale Soup Recipe with Whole Wheat Orzo (or broken spaghetti) found on KalynsKitchen.com

More Delicious Soups with Kale:

Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup with Ham and Sherry Vinegar ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Kale and Roasted Vegetable Soup ~ Simply Recipes
Sausage and Red Russian Kale Soup with Tomatoes, Chickpeas, and Herbs ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Chicken Sausage, Butternut Squash, and Kale Soup ~ Mountain Mama Cooks
Autumn Harvest Soup with Butternut Squash, Kale, and Farro or Brown Rice from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Tuscan Kale and Chickpea Soup ~ Three Many Cooks

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a new category called Weekend Food Prep  to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

Italian Sausage and Kale Soup with (or without) Whole Wheat Orzo

This Italian Sausage and Kale Soup with Whole Wheat Orzo is a warm meal for a cold day, and delicious too! Use cauliflower rice instead of orzo if you want a low-carb soup.


  • 1 large onion, chopped small
  • 1 T + 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. ground fennel
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 5 links sweet Turkey Italian Sausage (about 20 oz.)
  • 8 cups chicken stock (or use 4 cans plus 1/2 cup water)
  • 4 cups beef stock (or use 2 cans plus 1/4 cup water)
  • 5 oz. baby kale or one large bunch of kale
  • 1 can petite dice tomatoes with juice (14.5 oz.)
  • salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup Whole Wheat Orzo Pasta or broken whole wheat spaghetti pieces (or for a low-carb soup use a slightly larger amount of cauliflower rice)
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving


  1. Heat 1 T olive oil in a heavy pan large enough to hold all the soup; add onion and saute until it starts to soften, about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add minced garlic, ground fennel, dried oregano, and dried basil and saute 1-2 minutes more.
  3. While onions are cooking, heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a large frying pan, then squeeze turkey Italian sausage out of the casing and cook until it’s well browned.
  4. Use the back of the turner to break the sausage apart as it browns. (I like to use an old-fashioned Potato Masher (affiliate link)  to break the sausage apart.)
  5. Add the chicken stock and beef stock to the onion mixture and start to simmer.
  6. When sausage is well browned, add it to the stock mixture.
  7. Deglaze the sausage pan with 1/2 cup water, scraping off any browned bits in the bottom of the pan, and add that to the soup pot.
  8. Let the stock, sausage, and herb mixture simmer about 20 minutes to build flavor.
  9. While the stock mixture simmers, coarsely chop the baby kale. (For regular kale, cut away the center rib from each kale leaf and discard the rib.
  10. Cut the leaf part of the kale into small pieces and rinse well with cold water.)
  11. After 20 minutes, add kale to the soup pot and simmer 20-30 minutes.
  12. Then add petite diced tomatoes and juice and simmer 20-30 minutes more.
  13. Measure 1/2 cup Whole Wheat Orzo Pasta or whole wheat spaghetti pieces into small pieces (or use a slightly larger amount if you’re using cauliflower rice which doesn’t expand when it’s cooked).
  14. Increase heat slightly so the soup mixture comes to a gentle boil, then add orzo, spaghetti, or cauliflower rice and cook about 20 minutes, or until pasta is tender.
  15. Serve soup hot, with plenty of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.


Recipe created by Kalyn.

All images and text ©

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Made with turkey Italian sausage and whole grain pasta, this Italian Sausage and Kale Soup would be approved for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet. If you omit the orzo or spaghetti or make the soup with cauliflower rice stirred in at the end, this would be a delicious low-carb soup, suitable for low-carb diet plans or Phase One of the South Beach Diet.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into this nutrition analyzer, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

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    34 Comments on “Italian Sausage and Kale Soup with (or without) Whole Wheat Orzo”

  1. I love your recipes!! But your website is so overwhelming difficult to navigate with all the ads and pop-ups. Its been awhile since I visited, but I don't remember it being this bad.

    • Can you give me more information because that should not be happening? Are you on a phone or desktop, where were the ads. Also there is a link below the ad that says "Report this ad" which I encourage you to do, there shouldn't be pop-ups.

  2. What a great, hearty, good for you soup. Love the new pictures.

  3. Let's see…No kale but I have chard; no Italian sausage, but I have duck sausage (and fennel), no whole wheat orzo but whole wheat spaghetti….. Yup, I can get close enough. We're having serious soup weather here these days…. Love the photo

  4. What a hearty and satisfying soup! Italian sausage is one of the things my husband misses most (he's on a strict low sodium diet). I have whole wheat spaghetti in my pantry, but now I'm curious about ww orzo – will have to look for it :))

  5. Kristie, so glad to hear that everyone enjoyed it so much!

  6. I made this for my family's annual holiday "everybody bring a pot of soup and bread" party. It was a HUGE hit and was voted the best soup of the night. Thank you for the recipe, it is sooo delicious!

  7. Wendy, it's usually found near the ground turkey. I've tried a few brands, but my favorite is Jenni-O.

  8. Where do you find the Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage? Could you tell me what brand it is? I have never bought it before. Thank you so much for your help 🙂

  9. Yes, ground fennel is just crushed fennel seed. I haven't tried fresh fennel in this, but I'm thinking the fennel flavor is stronger in the seeds. I don't think the fresh fennel would be bad, but I might use some ground fennel as well.

  10. One question: Your recipe said ground fennel–I had fennel seed, so I blended them to a powder. Isn't that what ground fennel is? (I've never used it before!) I looked fennel up, and I wondered how fresh fennel would work. Have you ever used it?