Turkey Sausage, Kale & Pumpkin Soup

So, it’s official – I’m a wuss.  Was it just a short week ago that I was whining about the heat and wishing for some cooler weather?  Well it’s here and now I’m freezing my butt off!  The sad thing is, it’s only getting down into the mid-40’s at night, but it might as well be Fargo in January as far as I’m concerned.  And it’s embarrassing because I grew up in New England and would sometimes refuse to wear a coat out until it got below 32 degrees just on principle!  I was tough, people!  Now the indoor temp got down to 69 the other night and I had to unpack my Snuggie just to watch TV!  Yes, I have a Snuggie.  It’s hot pink, it’s warm and toasty, and I can’t live without it…don’t judge.  I guess this cold intolerance means I’m officially Southern now.  Maybe I should just stop fighting it and start saying y’all, drinking sweet tea, and listening to country music… yeah, that’s not going to happen.

Anyway, I realized that though I was looking forward to cooler weather, I was woefully unprepared for it.  It only got up into the 60’s the other day and when I went to get my 5 year old son dressed, I realized he didn’t have any long pants that fit!  He’s been wearing shorts for so long that he grew out of all of his old jeans.  Now I need to take him clothes shopping so he doesn’t look like he’s expecting a flood.  The problem is, if I take him in the morning, or at night, and he’s wearing shorts and it’s freezing, then people will think I’m a horrible mother.  But if I let him wear his 3-inch too short jeans, I’ll end up on the people of Walmart website to be mocked by the entire interweb.  I seriously considered ordering a bunch of clothes online, but then I have to wait for shipping and we won’t be able to leave the house for days.  So my brilliant strategy is to shop mid-day today when it’s supposed to hit the high 70’s and he can get away with shorts one last time.  But the window of opportunity is closing so I have to get going soon or wait for another warm day.  First world problems…

So while I’m unprepared in the clothing department, one thing I’ve got down is this soup.  I’ve been making versions of it for years because it’s so simple and delicious.  My friend Becky introduced me to it and I loved it instantly.  She made hers with white beans as the starch, and though I love it that way my new favorite is using sweet potatoes or pumpkin for the starchy component.  It makes it Paleo friendly, colorful, and the hint of sweetness is so comforting.  It’s low in calories, loaded with vitamins and antioxidants, and super easy to throw together!  Not to mention satisfying and so delicious!  I garnish it with red pepper flakes for a touch of heat, and a little grated parmesan cheese for a mouthwatering saltiness.  I just can’t get enough of this soup – I made a big pot the other day and I’ve eaten at least one bowl per day since!  Hope you guys like it too!


Turkey Sausage, Kale & Pumpkin Soup

Yield: Serves 8

Turkey Sausage, Kale & Pumpkin Soup

Approximate nutrition information per serving: 118 calories, 6g fat, 5.5g net carbs, 11g protein


  • 1 lb sweet italian turkey sausage
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cups chopped pumpkin or butternut squash
  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups water


  • Cook sausage in a medium sized saucepan. Add onions and saute until translucent. Pour the broth and water into the saucepan and bring to a boil - reduce heat. Add the kale and pumpkin and simmer until the pumpkin is soft, about 20 minutes. Serve hot, garnished with grated parmesan and crushed red pepper flakes.


  1. Camille says

    Hi There,

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    • says

      Hi Kaylee, canned pumpkin won’t work for this soup because it’s a puree. If you don’t want to mess with a pumpkin, you can also use sweet potato or butternut squash which you can buy cubed in the produce department of larger grocery stores.

  2. Anonymous says

    Long time lurker… Thank you for the introduction to People of Walmart! That website is just amazing. However, I do need to applaud you on your website; I’ve found many cooking inspirations here, and you seem like a sincerely affable person..

    • says

      Thanks for taking the time to comment and I’m happy that you’re enjoying the recipes! People of Walmart is hilarious and sad at the same time – it is my lifelong goal to never end up posted there! ha ha! :)

  3. says

    Hey, I’m a southern girl and I don’t drink sweet tea (too carby!) and I can’t stand country music. I do say y’all occasionally, though! Even though it’s still in the upper 80s here, I’ve been thinking of soup. Soup is the only good thing about winter, IMHO. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find any gluten-free, msg-free Italian sausage. I don’t mind whether it is turkey or traditional but I just can’t find ANY. I do mind if it is sweet because I don’t like the sweet variety. What brand do you use (unless it only comes in sweet)?

    • says

      Jones Dairy has an entire line of gluten free sausages that you can try and the type of sausage doesn’t matter that much – I’ve used sweet, hot, and even regular breakfast sausage in a pinch. Hope you like it!

  4. says

    I made this last night and it was SOOO GOOOD. I wish I put more kale in, honestly. But I love kale. I also sprinkled in a dash of curry powder as well.

    Thank you for the recipe, I left just enough to eat it three nights in a row for dinner!

  5. Emariel says

    This soup was delicious. As it simmered, I got antsy and began to think it needed something to give some more body to the broth, but as the starches broke down and all the flavors came together (I used sweet potatoes instead of pumpkin), it evolved beautifully. Tastes even better the second day! Thanks so much for all your wonderful recipes.

    • says

      I know what you mean Emariel, it doesn’t seem like those few ingredients can come together to make such a rich, comforting broth but they do! I love this soup so much, and I really like using sweet potatoes in it too! So glad you liked it!

  6. Holly says

    Made this for the first time today, followed recipe except I could not find sweet italian turkey sausage so I used Jennie-O italian spiced ground turkey. It is D-LICIOUS, especially once you add the hot pepper flakes and some grated parm!

  7. Pat says

    Quick question, please. From the photo of the soup, it appears you removed the sausage from the casing to saute it or used bulk sausage. Is that correct? I purchased sweet Italian links vs. bulk and probably would have sliced the links had I not noticed the picture. I’m making this tomorrow, substituting Acorn Squash and hope that works well. It will be a perfect day for soup – temps in the Northeast are expected in the single digits again!

    Thanks so much. I’ve never eaten so well since starting the Keto Plan w/ you.

    Lastly, watched Dr. Oz today and saw your South Carolina video very briefly. To be honest, you were robbed. Too bad you couldn’t choose your own dish to submit. I’m sure it would have won 1st Prize.

  8. Pat says

    Thanks for putting your video on the blog. It was nice to see the entire piece vs. the 3 word soundbite that flashed by on TV.

    And…I just polished off a big bowl of the Sausage, Kale, and Squash soup. Such a simple recipe and yet really flavorful, even the first day. I have some Kale left over and plan to make baked Kale chips for something salty and crisp. My fridge is starting to look like a Farmer’s Market with all the healthy veggies. I do not miss the grains/sugar at all; just wish I were losing at a faster pace.


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