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Curried Kitchen Sink Soup

Don’t be put off by list of ingredients—remember that this is a kitchen sink soup, so I was using up what I had around. Everything is flexible, making this a great vehicle for leftovers.

Course Entree
Cuisine Soup


For the legumes/dal:

  • 2 qts water
  • 1 cup yellow split peas
  • 2/3 cups split red lentils

For the soup:

  • 3 T ghee
  • 1 lb chicken breasts
  • 3 medium-large onions, chopped
  • 2 T minced garlic
  • 2 T minced ginger
  • 2 sweet bell peppers, diced
  • 1 summer squash, diced
  • 2 heaping T curry powder
  • 2 lbs boiling potatoes, diced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 small head cauliflower, broken into bite-sized florets
  • 2/3 cup mashed roasted butter squash
  • 1 t garam masala
  • juice of half lemon
  • 2 T honey, plus more to taste
  • salt to taste
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped


Begin cooking the legumes/dal:

  1. Bring the 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add the split peas and let cook for 10 minutes. Then add the split red lentils. 

  2. Let the legumes cook until tender. Add a teaspoon of salt and let cook another 5 minutes, then set aside.

Make the soup while the legumes are cooking:

  1. If you are not using leftover roasted poultry, heat the ghee in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Brown the chicken on both sides, about 8 minutes total.

  2. Remove the chicken to a cutting board. Add the onions to the pot with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramelizing.

  3. While the onions are caramelizing, chop the chicken into bite sized pieces. Add to a bowl and set aside.

  4. Add the garlic and ginger to the onions and stir. Splash with a little water if the onions are sticking or scorching. Let cook for 5 minutes.

  5. Add the sweet bell peppers and summer squash with a pinch of salt. Stir and let cook for 3 minutes.

  6. Add the curry powder and stir. Add the potatoes with a pinch of salt and stir to coat with the curry powder. Let cook without stirring for 4 minutes.

  7. Add the cauliflower, chicken and water to the pot--be sure to include any accumulated juices from the chicken. If you are using pre roasted chicken or turkey, add chicken or turkey stock instead of water. Bring to a boil.

  8. Add the cooked legumes with their cooking water.

  9. Stir in the mashed butternut squash. Bring back to a boil.

  10. Reduce heat and cover to simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes to allow chicken to cook through and flavors to melt.

  11. When the chicken is cooked through, add the garam masala, lemon juice and honey. Taste for more of any of those. When the flavors are balanced to your taste, add the chopped cilantro and serve.

  12. Serve with additional lemon wedges and hot chile pepper flakes for anyone who wants them.

Recipe Notes

You should definitely think outside the box with this soup, especially if you are trying to utilize leftovers. Try mashed potatoes instead of mashed butternut squash--and be prepared to add a tad more honey. Use leftover roasted chicken or turkey and add chicken or turkey stock instead of water. You get the idea!