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February 8, 2012

Turkey, kale and butternut squash soup recipe


When you make this soup, you don't need to use kale and mushrooms and butternut squash that are, well, a bit tired. All I can tell you is that I did, and what began as a fridge dump turned into a soup so good that I hurried to write the recipe because I knew I'd be making this again. My husband Ted, who has tasted more fridge dumps than any man should be asked to do, ate this two days in a row. And he had seconds. That's major. If you start with peeled and cubed butternut squash from the market, the soup comes together quickly, and that squash almost melts into the soup and gives it an irresistible sweetness.

Turkey, kale and butternut squash soup

Serves 6-8.


1 lb ground turkey (I use 93% fat-free)
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 tsp dried thyme leaf
1/2 tsp mild red pepper flakes
4 cups diced butternut squash (1 small squash)
1 cup sliced cremini or button mushrooms
4 cups chopped kale
1 Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind
3 cups chicken stock, homemade or low-sodium store-bought
3 cups beef stock, homemade or low-sodium store-bought
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste


In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy stock pot, add the turkey and oil. Over medium heat, break up the turkey with a wooden spoon, and cook until it has lost its raw appearance, 3-4 minutes. Add the onion and garlic, and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent. Stir in the thyme and red pepper flakes, and mix well.

Add the squash and mushrooms. Reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring frequently to keep the squash from sticking, for 2 minutes. Add the kale to the pot, and stir for 1 minute to wilt the kale slightly. Set the cheese rind in the pot, and pour in the two stocks.

Cover the pot tightly, and cook on low for 15 minutes, stirring two or three times, until the squash is soft.

Taste, and adjust seasoning with salt (if needed) and black pepper.

Serve hot.

Print recipe only.


Posted by: dadolwch | February 8, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Ooh, this looks great! I have half of a garnet yam and some collard greens I didn't know what to do with. Will have to try this using them! Thanks!

Posted by: Kalyn | February 8, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Oh yes please! I would love this.

Posted by: Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) | February 8, 2012 at 06:49 PM

Dadolwch, sounds like you have the color combination to make a great soup! And I love when people adapt these recipes to what they have on hand. After all, that's how this soup came into being in the first place.

Kalyn, the sweetness was such a surprise, and there's no sweetener in this soup at all. You'd love it.

Posted by: CJ McD | February 11, 2012 at 12:16 AM

I want to dive right in!

Posted by: Rike | February 27, 2012 at 02:41 AM

I made it, and it turned out great! Used beef in place of turkey. But I will certainly make it again and try the turkey then. Husband loved it, so it is on the short list! Thank you!

Posted by: Rachelle | October 15, 2012 at 09:32 PM

This was fantastic - exactly what I was looking for. Thanks!

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  • I'm Lydia Walshin, a longtime food writer who lives and cooks in a real log house. If I could, I'd eat Chinese noodles, grapes, ice cream and soup every day.
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