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Spicy Sausage, Potato, and Kale Soup
with barley

Active: 30 minTotal: 30 min
20150202 sausage barley kale soup nm 001.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

We love one-pot soups, and this one is perfect for winter with both hearty ingredients and warming flavors. Use your favorite sausage and let it infuse the flavor of the broth.
Smarts: Harissa paste is a Middle Eastern chili paste with a deep smoky flavor. If you can find it, it's definitely worth trying. We love it to add a little heat to everything!


Spicy Sausage, Potato, and Kale Soup:
  • Barley, uncooked - 1 1/4 cups ((will yield ~4 cups cooked))
  • Onions - 1, chopped
  • Russet potato, large - 1, diced
  • Kale, any type - 1 bunch, leaves torn, stems chopped
  • Sausage, cooked (pick your fave type) - 2, diced
  • Cooking oil - 1 Tbsp
  • Tomato paste - 1/4 cup
  • Harissa paste (opt) - 2 to 3 tsp
  • Red pepper flakes - 1/4 tsp
  • Chicken stock - 4 to 6 cups

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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% Daily Value
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  1. Barley - This makes enough for tomorrow night. Bring a saucepan of water to boil. Salt water generously and add barley. Cook for 45 to 55 minutes, until tender but not soggy. Reserve half for tomorrow night’s dinner. (Can be done up to 4 days ahead)
  2. Onions / Potatoes / Kale / Sausage - Prep as directed. If making tomorrow’s dinner, you can go ahead and prep tomorrow’s sausage. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)


  1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil and then onions, kale stems, tomato paste, harissa paste (if using), and red pepper flakes with a dash of salt. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes, until softened.
  2. Next add in potatoes and sausage, and saute until they get a bit golden, 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Pour in stock (add higher end of the range if you like a more broth-y soup) and bring to a boil. Simmer covered for 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and fold in barley (remember to have saved half for tomorrow) and kale leaves. Season to taste with more salt, pepper, and / or anything you like with some heat. This is meant to be a spicy soup but if you have kids, adjust accordingly.

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This meal has 76 reviews

Good stuff! I used a spinach and feta chicken sausage and, as recommended by a friend who made this, used reduced sodium chicken stock. The 1/4 tsp red pepper flake, in my opinion, was just the right amount of kick (I'm a wuss, so this amount was the perfect amount of spice for me).

By: Christy
Posted: Sep 26, 2017
Diet: Original

Made a giant batch and froze. Left out harissa but threw in red pepper flakes and added white beans, carrots and celery. A squeeze of lemon juice brightens the flavor.

By: Felice
Posted: Jan 09, 2017
Diet: Original

The leftovers hit the spot, too!

By: Amy
Posted: Nov 04, 2016
Diet: Paleo

Excellent soup! I omitted the barley and only used about 3 cups of broth, so it was perfect! Used plain chicken sausage.

By: Elissa
Posted: Oct 10, 2016
Diet: Original

Really yummy. Actually added about four small russet potatoes, and landed on the larger amount of broth. Great meal for a chilly winter's night.

By: Tami
Posted: May 19, 2015
Diet: Original

I made the paleo version of this and liked it! Good winter soup!

By: Shannon
Posted: Apr 08, 2015
Diet: Original