Cook a Comfort Meal With SI Swimsuit Rookie Ellie Thumann

The model and influencer grew up eating and making all sorts of delicious and unique soups — check out this sausage, potato and kale one.
Ellie Thumann

Ellie Thumann.

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SI Swimsuit model Ellie Thumann, who made her debut in sunny Puerto Rico last year, is best known for her lifestyle, fashion and beauty YouTube channel. As the 22-year-old has grown over the years—she began the account at age 14—she candidly has shared parts of her life with viewers, and grown her platform to 2.18 million subscribers. In addition to her regular outfit pics, travel inspo and BTS snaps from modeling gigs, the content creator often opens up about her mental health struggles and journey.

We caught up with Thumann and talked all things wellness, intention-setting and hot girl walks over the past few weeks. Today, she’s sharing the go-to meal for a rough day, or just a cold day, that immediately lifts her spirits

The Arizona native’s comfort meal always has been soup. It’s a fun and mind-soothing activity to create a hearty soup from scratch, and it’s a warm meal that always makes her feel better.

“Growing up, that was my mom’s favorite thing to make for us whenever we were just feeling under the weather or overwhelmed,” she says. “It just became a very comforting thing to me, especially when [my] appetite feels a little off, a heavy meal [is just] a lot for me if I’m anxious. Soup has always just been like the easiest, coziest thing for me to make.”

She adds that her first step on a night when she’s craving soup is to scroll through the soup pin board she has curated on Pinterest—she and her mom have a tradition of sending soup recipes back and forth. While Thumann likes to make seasonal soups, like a harvest pumpkin squash soup in the fall, and chili in the winter, she often is drawn in by the photo and isn’t afraid to try new meats or vegetables she hasn’t cooked with before.

Thumann also always makes enough soup for her sister Erin, who loves the influencer’s homemade tomato soup with a sourdough grilled cheese on the side. The two live together in Charleston, S.C.

“I like it, too, because you don’t always have to do exact measurements like other recipes,” she shares. “You can kind of get creative with it and add your own take and stuff to your soup, and it will still be yummy.”

Spicy Sausage, Kale and Potato Soup


  • 1 lb. smoked beef sausage, kielbasa, or andouille sausage, sliced into coins
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 - 6 cloves of minced fresh garlic
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
  • 4 medium potatoes cut into cubes (or 4-6 cups cauliflower florets)
  • 32 ounces no-sodium chicken bone broth
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream or half and half
  • 4 cups of roughly chopped tuscan kale or curly kale
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste


Bring a heavy-bottomed saucepan to medium heat, and add the sliced sausage without oil. Sauté for two to three minutes until golden brown, and then add onion and garlic. Stir everything for about five minutes, until onions are translucent and you can smell the garlic.

Add smoked paprika, potatoes and bone broth. Place a lid over the pot and cook for approximately 20 minutes, until the potatoes are fully cooked and soft enough to mash easily with a fork. Taste and adjust spices to your liking.

Lastly, add the kale and heavy cream and allow the soup to simmer for a few minutes.

Serve with fresh pepper on the side, as an optional addition.

Thumann’s thoughts

“It was so yummy and really, really easy to make,” she says. “I love this, too, because you can really prep it and have it for the week. I feel like especially when I’m anxious or just want to feel a little bit relaxed and at peace, soup always helps me with that. There’s also something so comforting about just being in the kitchen, listening to my favorite peaceful country music and just making a good old soup. It never misses every single time. Making soup is literally my favorite thing.”

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Ananya Panchal


Ananya Panchal is a NYC-based Lifestyle & Trending News writer at SI Swimsuit. Before joining the Swim team, the Boston University Alum worked for culture & entertainment beats at Bustle, The San Francisco Chronicle and the TODAY Show. When Ananya is not writing or doom-scrolling on social media, she can be found playing sudoku, rewatching One Tree Hill or trying new restaurants. She's also a coffee and chocolate (separately) enthusiast.