A hearty and filling vegetable soup, it's packed with rich curry flavors; an earthy, nutty crunch from pepitas; and a touch of brightness from cilantro. Quinoa adds both substance and protein, and a variety of vegetables are there for layered flavor, sweetness, and general goodness.
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes (any kind of squash would work here, honeynut, acorn, etc)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into rounds and quarters (about 3/4 cup)
1 orange or red bell pepper, deseeded and diced (about 3/4 cup)
1/2 tablespoon curry powder
Pinch of dried red chili flakes
3/4 cup quinoa, washed and rinsed
4 cups homemade vegetable stock or store-bought low-sodium vegetable broth
2 cups curly kale, leaves cut into 1-inch ribbons and thick stems removed
2 tablespoons fresh juice from 1 lemon
1/4 cup toasted pepitas
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the butternut squash, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Remove and set aside. Add the remaining oil and heat until shimmering. Add the onion, carrot, pepper, and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the curry powder and chili flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the quinoa and toast until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the broth and adjust heat to maintain an active boil and cook until the quinoa is done, about 9 minutes. Stir in the kale and squash, until the kale has wilted and the squash tender but not mushy, about 2 minutes more. Stir in lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, divide between serving bowls, and top with the pepitas and cilantro.