Alton Brown Makes This 'Christmas Soup' Recipe Every Year

It's a tradition.

A warm bowl of soup during the winter months is always a welcome comfort. This holiday season, one recipe we'll be coming back to time and time again is Alton Brown's Christmas Soup. The host of the Food Network's series Good Eats and Iron Chef knows a thing or two about executing a flawless recipe, and this sausage soup does not disappoint.

"Sausage, potatoes, and kale make a hearty soup for a cold winter night. Without fail, I make this Christmas Soup for the holidays every year. In other words, it's a tradition," Brown writes in the headnote for the soup recipe. "Kids love traditions, so I say, let them make the soup so they can leave a bowl for Santa. Sneaky!"

For the soup, Alton Brown combines kielbasa, fresh garlic, dried red kidney beans, red potatoes, and kale with chicken broth, red wine vinegar, and more for a savory soup that is bound to impress the discerning soup lover's palate. You would also never believe it only takes 30 minutes of active cooking time to prepare. With only a handful of common ingredients and not too much prep time to pull off this recipe, we feel it will be in our Christmas dinner repertoire for many years. Get the full recipe on, or follow the recipe below.

Alton Brown
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How To Make Alton Brown's Christmas Soup


  • 1 pound kielbasa, sliced 1/4-inch thick, on the bias
  • Vegetable oil, as needed
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound dried red kidney beans, soaked for at least 4 hours or overnight
  • 2 quarts unsalted chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 pound red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 6 ounces fresh kale, washed, rinsed, and torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Start by browning the kielbasa in a Dutch oven and setting it over medium-low heat—for about 15 minutes. Remove and set aside. Make sure to have at least two teaspoons of fat or add vegetable oil to make this amount.
  2. Next, stirring constantly, add garlic to the fat for one to two minutes. (Do not let the garlic burn). Add the beans, chicken broth, and two teaspoons of salt.
  3. Cook covered for 45 minutes. Next, stir in the potatoes and continue cooking for an additional 15 minutes covered—remember to stir occasionally.
  4. Add kale, cover, and cook for 10 more minutes until it is tender.
  5. Finally, add vinegar and pepper. Stir until combined and return the kielbasa to the pot—heat thoroughly. Add seasoning to taste. Serve hot.

Love Alton Brown's skills in the kitchen? We've got you covered with these 12 Alton Brown recipes that we can't stop making. (We hear his Best Ever Green Beans Casserole pairs well with Christmas soup.)

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