Cut all vegetables as directed. Transfer to a 4-quart saucepan or stockpot.
Cover vegetables with homemade vegetable broth (see recipe) or with commercial vegetable broth.
Replace lid and bring to a fast simmer, or slow boil.
While the vegetables are coming to a boil, prepare thickening sauce. In a blender, preferably a high-powered blender like a Vita-mix, blend together until smooth the russet potato pieces, cashews, bean liquid and remaining liquid from steaming potato. (The liquid should not exceed 1 1/4 cups.)
Once vegetables have come to a fast simmer, remove lid and test potatoes for doneness. You should still have a little resistance when you attempt to push a fork into the potato pieces. Stir in thyme, crushed peppers (if using), cannellini beans, and vegan sausage.
Cover and allow to simmer slowly for five minutes until flavors are fully incorporated and all ingredients are heated through. Do not boil as the cashew cream may curdle. The potatoes should be fork tender at this point, the onions and celery translucent, and the peppers soft but firm.
Remove lid and stir in desired amount of kale. Serve hot with crusty baked bread.