Mess Hall Diaries: Nearly 5 Year Anniversary Soup

Holy good sweet pasta sauce ya’ll.

I know it’s been a hot minute since I’ve written but I have a good reason. I have been pretty under the weather. And by under the weather, I mean that I have been suffering from a pretty severe bout of depression.

I’m planning on writing more about my experiences with depression as well as keeping you up to date on that lovely lady Stax Mitch. (She’s doing really well, by the way. Gotta love modern medicine, #amiright?)

But, in an effort to ease myself back into things, I’m coming back with a recipe… for soup.

That’s right. Soup. So, tape your socks to your ankles ’cause I’m about to knock them off.

I had an Instagram story up and our friend Shay asked me if it was Wedding Soup, which is a traditional Italian soup made with meatballs, orzo, and spinach.

This is not exactly that, and since Stax and I are a few years in, we’re calling this bad boy “Nearly 5 Year Anniversary” soup.

It’s an incredibly simple recipe so let’s get to getting.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 cups – Chopped Kale
  • 1 lb – Italian Sausage (Mild or hot, you choose. I’m not your Mom)
  • 2 cans – White Beans
  • 32 Oz – Chicken Stock
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar or the juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup dried (or 1/2 cup fresh) Parsley
  • 2 tbsp – Basil
  • 4 – tbsp – Oregano
  • Salt/Pepper to taste


First, like most good Italian food, you gotta dice. dat. garlic.

Yeah… you like that chop? It’s almost as fine as you are, girl.





Then, pop that tasty mince into a pot and toss in a pinch (or three) of crushed red pepper for spice.




So, I have to apologize to my mother because I did not make meatballs. I bought some ground Italian sausage and rolled it into bite-size balls.

I actually like the sausage in the soup, it gives it a pop of flavor that you’d miss with meatballs… also, I’m lazy.




Brown those bad boys to get the flavor all up in the pan and then add your kale.

Pop cover to let the kale steam a bit until you can stir the sausage and kale together.




Right about now you’ll want to drop your beans.

I’m using white beans, but you can use kidneys or even black-eyed peas.

Stir, and let cook for a few minutes before adding your broth.


P1040376I used store-bought low-sodium chicken broth for this recipe, but after tasting it I’d suggest making your own or using stock.

The chicken broth doesn’t have the rich flavor you need for a soup like this, but if you’re into broth I’m not going to second-guess your life choice…I have two cats so what do I know.

Oh, also add your spices (check ingredient list)



Bring the soup to a boil and then drop down to a simmer to get all those flavors touching like a bunch of rich kids at a rave.

After about 30 minutes in simmer mode, taste to see if you need to adjust any of the flavors.




If you are like me, you’ll get a nice rich flavor from the soup that is desperately calling for a bit of brightness.

Here’s where I added a bit of balsamic vinegar to the soup to give it that tang I was looking for, but I believe the juice of one lemon would do the same thing for you.

Go nuts and try whatever you want, just make sure you give it that note cause it’s literally begging for it*

*Soup can’t talk…

In the end, you’ll make enough for dinner and several bowls of this tasty liquid/sausage/kale stuff for the rest of the week.

Hit me up with more recipe suggestions and let me know if there’s any questions you have about being a home cook!



Mess Hall

toddagarcia View All →

I’m an acting/improvising optimizing son of a gun.

I’ve been living and working and performing in Chicago since 2005. I love to eat, travel, talk and make people laugh. So for me this blog stuff is pretty neat.

I also like you. Whoever you are. I like you. For coming to my blog and sharing in my thoughts. I appreciate you. And I think you’re hot. So here’s to you, readers of my blog. Thanks for being awesome. Share and share a like!

Follow me on Twitter @toddawatomi and listen to my podcast with my besticle Ethan at!

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