Recipe: Butternut Squash Soup with Sausage, White Beans, and Kale

It's like a warm, fuzzy a bowl.

recipe - butternut squash soup with sausage, white beans, and kale

soup recipe - butternut squash with sausage, white beans, and kale

It’s been a little gloomy the last few days in New York, and as the temperatures dropped (and the rain descended), nothing sounded better than a big bowl of soup. I’ve been loving all the pumpkins that are gracing doorways and bodegas around these parts, so I was inspired to make a pumpkin soup — but made a little decadent with sausage and cream. Of course, you know what they say about the best laid plans. When I got to the store, they didn’t have any pumpkin puree, so I used butternut squash instead. However, if you can find non-sweetened pumpkin puree, which was what I was after, it would be awesome in this soup as well!

So yeah, this soup. A little bit of a splurge (again, sausage. cream.), but plenty of healthy things going on too: lots of leafy green kale, white beans, and of course, that vibrant, nutritious squash. This soup LOOKS like fall in a bowl — bright orange, flecked with bits of darker orange carrots and the deep green kale. And, an extra bonus: it’s a quick, easy weeknight meal! Here’s how you make it: 

butternut squash soup with sausage, white beans, and kale

recipe for butternut squash soup with sausage, white beans, and kale

Butternut Squash Soup with Sausage, White Beans, and Kale

Serves 4-6

3 lbs pre-cubed butternut squash (or substitute 3 15-oz cans of butternut squash puree)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lb sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and medium diced
2 celery stalks, washed, and small diced
2 carrots, peeled and small diced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 quart chicken stock
1 15-oz can navy or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 to 1 bunch of curly leaf kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
optional: 1/4 cup heavy cream
garnishes: chopped scallions, sour cream or crème fraîche, toasted hulled pumpkin seeds
— kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Using a basket steamer set over a pot of simmering water, steam the butternut squash until it’s very tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer the squash pieces to a food processor, and puree until the squash is smooth. You may need to add a few tablespoons of water to ensure a smooth puree. Set the pureed squash aside. If you are using cans of butternut squash or pumpkin puree, you can skip this entire step.

Meanwhile, as the squash is steaming: In a large, heavy bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Crumble in the sausage, and use a large spoon to break it up. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is browned on all sides. Remove to a plate or bowl and set aside. Add in the onion, celery and carrots, and season with salt and pepper. Once the vegetables just begin to soften, add in the cumin and garlic powder. Continue to stir, until the onions are very soft and translucent.

Pour in the chicken stock, the butternut squash puree, the cannellini beans, stir, and season the soup again with salt and pepper. Add the crumbled sausage back in. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Add in the kale (if you want it heavy with greens, add in the full bunch; otherwise, use half a bunch), and if using, the heavy cream. Stir gently until the kale wilts and is softened. Taste the soup, and season with more salt, pepper, and white wine vinegar as desired.

Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with your favorite toppings, and serve. It’s like a blanket in a bowl!


  1. 10.2.14

    I’ve been all about soup lately, but pretty much just lentil soup. Definitely time to change it up. This sounds so good and perfect for October. Can’t wait to make this!

  2. 10.2.14

    Lunchtime is NOT the right time to read this post. Can I order this soup over Seamless?

  3. 10.2.14

    In my house, soup is the routine Saturday meal. So glad for a new recipe to try out this weekend! Happy Thursday, Victoria :)

  4. 10.3.14
    Rose said:

    TOTALLY making this ASAP (with veggie stock/no sausage over here). I’ve been wanting a good bean & kale soup, and I’m a huge butternut squash fan. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    • 10.3.14

      If you’re 86ing the sausage, I’d recommend adding some additional olive oil, onion and chopped garlic to help amp up the flavor and give it the right texture! Enjoy! :)

  5. 10.3.14

    I think I just found my first soup for the fall. I love Gwyneth’s white bean and kale soup but the addition of sausage and butternut squash sounds so delicious in this one. Can’t wait!

  6. 10.3.14
    Tara Parsons said:

    I read this yesterday morning and apparently it stuck with me as I looked up the post again when I was at the grocery store at 10:30 last night. Soup ahoy! Looking forward to giving this a go for Saturday. Thanks for the recipe!

  7. 10.5.14
    Tiffany said:

    This recipe sounds delicious and I cannot wait to try it! As I was reading the directions, I noted that the sausage was set aside to saute the vegetables, but the instructions on when to add it back in are missing. Thanks!

    • 10.5.14

      I always do this when writing recipes! Thanks for the catch!

  8. 12.3.14
    Lee Ann said:

    Made this soup last weekend, so perfect after all the Thanksgiving overeating frenzy. It smelled wonderful while cooking, but was surpassed by how absolutely wonderful it was to eat! Hubby and I loved it, and I loved having a couple portions for my workday lunches. It’s going to be a frequently-made soup in our household from now on.

    • 12.3.14

      Hi Lee Ann — I am SO happy to hear that. Really glad you enjoyed it — and will continue to enjoy all winter! :) Thanks for commenting!

  9. 11.24.15
    LN Bell said:

    Just made this for the first time…a-ma-zing!! Used a pre-made puree from Williams-Sonoma and also used white pepper instead of black (I prefer the softer flavor). Can’t wait for hubby to wake up and taste it…definitely going into the rotation. Using the puree made it fairly simple. Kale just takes it to the next level. Yummy, homemade goodness! Thank you!

    • 11.24.15

      I am so glad you loved it! I hope your family enjoys the recipe throughout the winter! :)

  10. 10.5.17
    Jor-El said:

    Looks delicious! Also, excellent beer choice. It’s what’s currently in my fridge too :)

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