From Gail's Kitchen


It’s soup time in our household! And it often constitutes the whole meal. You can use any type of mushrooms; I like to use about 6 ounces of creminis and 2 ounces of enokis. Make sure not to overcook the vegetables (and play around with other possibilities, as well) – it’s nice to retain some of the inherent textures of the carrots, kale and mushrooms. If you’re not keen on too much heat, omit the fresh chile and just use the Thai curry paste, which is available in the Asian section of most supermarkets, as is the fish sauce. And please refer to the OceanWise website,, before buying any fish or seafood (scallops, mussels and/or clams would be fabulous in this recipe, too!) to determine its sustainability. You can even download an iPhone app from the site.

Makes 4 main-course servings or 6 appetizer servings

2 6-inch lengths lemongrass (optional)
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
3 shallots or 1/2 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 to 1/2 Thai bird, scotch bonnet or habanero chile pepper, stemmed and minced (optional)
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 small can (160 mL) coconut milk
2 tbsp Asian fish sauce
1 tbsp Thai yellow, green or red curry paste
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tsp liquid honey
2 cups butternut squash in 1/2-inch dice
1 cup firmly packed shredded kale
1 large carrot, cut into thin coins
1/2 lb assorted mushrooms, left whole if small or cut into large chunks
1 1/2 lbs Pacific halibut or Lake Huron/Georgian Bay whitefish filets (or other firm-fleshed fish), cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 green onions, sliced, or 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander/cilantro
1 lime, cut into wedges

If using lemongrass, gently tap the stalks with the blade of a large knife in a few places so that stalks are broken but not cut through; set aside.

In a small stockpot or large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring often until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook, stirring often, for 1 minute. Add the chile (if using), broth, coconut milk, fish sauce, curry paste, lime juice and honey.

Stir well to combine. Stir in the squash, kale and carrots. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the squash is soft and the carrots are tender-crisp, about 10 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms. Gently stir in the fish. Bring the liquid back up to a simmer and cook until the fish is opaque and just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. Spoon equal amounts of the soup and solid ingredients into bowls. Sprinkle with green onions and serve hot, with lime wedges for your guests to squeeze into their soup bowls before digging in.