Sausage and Kale Soup and Why I need a new pasta shape

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One of my favorite jokes of all time goes something like this:

Two sausages were sizzling in a frying pan. One sausage said to the other, “It sure is hot in here!”

The other sausage said, “Oh my god, it’s a talking sausage!”


No matter how old I get, the word “sausage” will probably always make me giggle a little bit—for obvious reasons. There’s really no way around it. I have accepted this about myself.

sausage and kale pastaI first got the idea for this soup from a recipe I saw on How Sweet It Is, which calls for spicy Italian sausage and whole wheat orecchiette. However, instead of pasta, I decided to use up some brown rice that had been in my cupboard for well over a year.

I actually decided to throw out the orecchiette in there because it finally dawned on me that almost all of the not very many relationships I’ve had in the past few years ended within days of sharing a meal that contained said orecchiette, and well, f*** that. It’s 2014. I need a new pasta shape in my life. Energetically speaking, I’m sure there’s something not good about eating pasta that looks like ears, maybe to do with hearing/listening/being heard. I don’t know—I’m over-thinking this, clearly. Let’s just say I’m ready to actually learn from my mistakes by not making bad-karma-pasta anymore. Maybe I also should enforce a new rule about not making pasta too early in a relationship, since the one that did not end with orecchiette ended with ravioli.

But back to the soup…To up the fiber content, I added some green lentils and used less sausage. Speaking of sausage (let’s see how many times I can say “sausage” in one post), I went with a couple Trader Joe’s roasted garlic chicken sausages for this recipe, but you can use whatever kind you want. Turkey sausage, beef sausage, pork sausage, mystery sausage…

You can also play around with using different greens if kale’s not your thing or if you got spooked by that article you read a few weeks ago.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 cup cooked lentils
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 2 cooked sausages, cut into half-moon shapes
  • ~8 cups water or broth
  • 1 bunch kale or other greens


  1. Heat oil in a large stock pot. add garlic, onion, celery, carrot, and leek. Cook until onion is translucent and veggies begin to soften.
  2. Stir in spices, lentils, rice, and sausage. Cook another minute or two before adding liquid.
  3. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and stir in kale. Allow to simmer ~30 minutes.

What’s your favorite joke? Does “sausage” make you giggle? Which pasta shape should I try next? 

7 thoughts on “Sausage and Kale Soup and Why I need a new pasta shape

    Laura@FitFreshandFunny said:
    January 20, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Sounds like you had a total sausage fest. Snort.

    Seriously, though-soup looks delicious!

      Jess responded:
      January 20, 2014 at 9:37 pm

      Hah, nice.

      Jess responded:
      January 20, 2014 at 9:39 pm

      I actually once got “in trouble” once for saying a party my then-boyfriend took me to was “a total sausage fest” because I was the only girl there. He was mortified and lectured me on the way home. In college, my friends and I used to jokingly say that all the time since most the group I hung out with were, in fact, guys. I had no idea it was, like, a mean thing to say!

        Laura@FitFreshandFunny said:
        January 20, 2014 at 9:40 pm

        I don’t find it mean either! I just take it to mean there’s lots of men there, that the ratio is skewed. There’s not such an easy female counterpart to that phrase, but doesn’t mean it can’t be true!

    Kaitlin said:
    January 20, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    I love wandering Eataly and checking out the various pasta shapes. Since I’m not the pasta expert, I probably go with wheat and what’s cheapest 🙂

      Jess responded:
      January 20, 2014 at 9:39 pm

      Maybe I should take myself on a little trip—I haven’t been to Eataly in ages! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

    […] favorite sausage joke. The other day in a Pilates class, the instructor asked if anyone knew any good jokes. Of course I […]

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