Foggy Day Lunchbox: Kale, White Bean & Sausage Soup

What to pack for school lunch is often a big challenge for parents.  I know I struggle with it a great deal on a daily basis.  I lovingly prepare from scratch, quick & easy lunches for Ria, only to have them come home UNTOUCHED.  Not because it is food Ria does not like, but because she is the resident lunch-time chatterbox and busy-body (wonder where she gets that from 🙂 ?).  I can talk and eat quite efficiently, but for some reason Ria cannot.  She gets in the car after school and is often in the foulest of moods because she is starving.  I used to show up with a snack but these days I make her finish what is leftover from lunch and, if she is still hungry, she then gets something else.

There are still days I want to throw in the towel and stop taking the time to prepare her lunches.  But then, I don’t really want to be known as the mom who sent her kid to school with a bag of Cheetos (because, the Cheetos she will eat).  Her teacher was aghast when I once joked that I was contemplating sending Ria to school without any lunch.

She doesn’t eat it anyway, so why bother?

And if I wasn’t such a foodie “show-off”, I am sure I would have long given up.  So inspite of the failure and daily disappointment, I soldier on in hope that one day something will click and she will eat all of what I prepare for her.

I recently purchased a mini thermos made by Crocodile Creek and I am looking forward to sending along some of Ria’s favorites which tend to be ricey, soupy and stewy.  I actually have my money on this working out.  Due to some clever marketing on my part, she is excited about her thermos (in hot pink with a butterfly on it!) and I think she gets that it will be filled with tasty delights.  She needs to now just shut-up and eat her school lunch and make her Mama proud.

The kale, white bean and sausage soup get consumed easily at home and I am hoping it translates into school lunchbox success.  Make a batch on the weekend,  freeze some and keep some for your kids lunch.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that this will work.

Kale, White Bean & Sausage Soup adapted from Frances Mayes from Everyday in Tuscany (Zuppa di Cavolo Nero, Cannellini e Salsicce)

Serves 12 to 14 (half it if required)


  • 2 Italian sausages, skins removed and meat crumbled
  • 4 tbsps olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 6 thyme sprigs
  • 1 bunch of dinosaur kale
  • 4 cups cooked cannellini beans (dried beans best but I often use canned)


  1. Saute the crumbled sausage in the olive oil till browned and remove from pan
  2. In the same pan, saute the onions, thyme and garlic until softened
  3. Add the chicken stock to a big pot.  Bring to a boil and add the kale and cover and simmer for 15 minutes
  4. Add the cooked sausage and beans and simmer for another 15 minutes

9 thoughts on “Foggy Day Lunchbox: Kale, White Bean & Sausage Soup

  1. Your picture of this soup grabbed my attention!. I have kale in the fridge that I need to use up. I am a Mother who is a foodie show off also. I have had many frustrating moments of preparing slow cooked melt in the mouth lamb & prune casseroles full of vegies for my little Lucia age 2 1/2 only to be told ‘Mummy, yucky I dont like that”. Most the time she appreciates the food with “Yum MUM”.
    This soup looks tasty and appealing to child. Sausages are big winners and beans are a good protein too. Thanks for sharing. Please come and say hi on my site !.

  2. What a delicious and healthy looking soup! Wonderful!

    My boy has the same issue — he’s such a chatterbox that he never has time to finish his lunch. I used to make him eat the rest of it when he got home, or I’d make him something else to eat, but he’d get home in the early afternoon.

    Now, they eat lunch in a cafeteria, and they get to choose their lunch, so I can only throw up my hands and hope for the best… I will have to try this soup for home meals though!

  3. I made this soup today for my 15-month-old. A little ambitious…perhaps? No surprises for guessing that he didn’t go for the kale, but he did enjoy the italian sausage flavored with the garlic, onions and thyme. As for me, i loved it! i had it with some fresh toasted bread and it was hearty and delicious. Perfect. Thanks for the great recipes. I love trying them out on my son.

  4. I haven’t yet tried kale in my kitchen. It’s been my to make list forever. I just need to go buy one of these days. Your soup looks super delicious. I wish I have this bowl of soup right now… My kids are still small that they don’t need lunch. I’m scared already thinking what to pack for kids’ lunch one day!

  5. I’m looking for your White Bean & Farro Soup Recipe printed in San Jose Mercury News 10/26/14. I’d love to share that with friends. Looks like a great soup on a chilly evening.

  6. Pingback: Fast & Furious Weeknight Cooking: Simran’s Chimichurri Black Beans | A Little Yumminess

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