Curried Lentil, Kale and Butternut Squash Soup
This soup is my new favorite. It combines smooth with crunch since the French lentils keep their firmness. The red lentils and butternut dissolve into a lucious creaminess. The sweet and spicy flavors meld together beautifully. And I love the orange and green colors of this soup. It improves after each reheating and MUST be made the day before.
Yield: 5-6 servings
- 1 tbsp coconut or olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 2 tsp grated ginger
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2-3 tsp curry powder ( I use a combination of Japanese and Indian curry blends)
- 1-2 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 6 cups chicken broth or vegetarian broth or water or combination
- 14 oz light coconut milk
- 3/4 cup red lentils, also known as Lal Masoor Dal (Goya sells this)
- 1/4 cup Spanish Pardina lentils (Goya sells this) or French Puy lentils
- 1 pound butternut squash, peeled and diced into ½-inch cubes
- 1 TBS brown sugar ( or to taste)
- 1 bunch kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped or about two cups after stemming and chopping
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onion and cook over medium heat. Add a pinch of salt and cook for about 5-8 minutes, or until onion becomes tender. Stir in the ginger, garlic, curry powder, and salt. Stir for about a minute, stirring frequently.
- Meanwhile, roast the squash for 15 minutes at 450 degrees until beginning to brown or fry over high heat. This caramelizes the squash and heighten the flavor but if you are in a hurry just throw it in without browning.
- Add the tomato paste and cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until it starts to darken in color, stirring constantly. Add the water, coconut milk, red lentils, and squash (either quickly roasted or fried in or just cut up and not roasted). Bring to a boil, and then lower to a simmer. Cook, partially covered, until the squash are falling apart and the lentils are cooked through, about 30 minutes. The red lentils will have dissolved and the French lentils will still have a little
- Stir in the kale and cook for about 5 minutes, or until wilted and tender.
- This soup is better refrigerated and warmed up and eaten the next day.