If making Italian sausage: combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Alternately, combine all ingredients in the saucepan and stir well when browning.
In a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed medium pot over medium heat, add Italian sausage and sprinkle crushed red pepper flakes over. Use a spoon to break up the pieces. When browned and cooked through, drain and set aside.
Cook the bacon pieces in the same Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, about 5-10 minutes. Remove the crisp bacon and set aside - don't get rid of the bacon fat! Stir in the onions and garlic; cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
Pour the chicken broth into the Dutch oven with the onions and garlic, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes, and boil until fork tender, about 10-20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the coconut milk and the cooked sausage; heat through. Add the bacon and the kale into the soup just before serving and cook 'til the kale is bright green and softened. Add salt and pepper to taste.