This is a wonderful soup for people who are tired or convalescing because in Chinese medicine winter squash is a qi tonic. Butternut squash is mostly eaten in the autumn when it is said to have absorbed the sun’s energy over the summer and packs a warming nutritional punch as the days get colder. However it’s a chilly spring day in upstate New York and my local market had some lovely squash on display, so I decided to pick one up along with a bunch of local kale and make this mildly spiced soup for lunch.

Butternut Squash and Kale Soup

1 onion, finely diced
3 tbsp olive oil
2 celery sticks, finely diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped into 1/2 ” chunks
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into 1″ chunks
1/2 tbsp madras curry powder
1/2 tbsp garam masala
Salt and Pepper
4 -5 cups vegetable stock
4 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 bunch kale, stems removed and finely chopped
Yogurt to serve

Saute the onion in the olive oil over a low heat in a large soup pot. When the onion is translucent add the celery, carrot and squash and stir. Put the lid on the pot and allow the vegetables to release their juices over a low heat for about 10 minutes. Add the curry power, garam masala, salt and pepper as well as the vegetable stock. Add enough stock to cover the squash completely and bring to a boil. Simmer for 40 minutes. Check to make sure the squash is soft and if it is, puree the soup either in the pan with an immersion blender or by transferring it carefully in batches to a blender or food processor. Return the soup to the stove and add the basil and kale. Simmer for 10 minutes and then serve with a 2 tablespoons of yogurt in each bowl.

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