1. If you wish to, soak the lentils overnight (or for 6-8 hours) in enough water to submerge them completely. Rinse and drain them. This will make them cook super quickly, and it will also help to release phytates, which can impact mineral absorption. However, it's not a necessary step, and red lentils will cook quickly whether you soak them or not. If you don't soak them, simply add them dry, as instructed in step 3!
2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add the onion and sautee until it's soft and golden (5-8 minutes). Add the ginger, curry, and turmeric, and mix the spices in.
3. Add the lentils and vegetable broth to the pot. Bring the lentils to a boil and reduce them to a simmer. Add the butternut squash and simmer until the pieces are fork tender and the lentils are soft (20 minutes or so).
4. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup to a desired consistency (you can make it as textured or smooth as you like). If you don't have an immersion blender, you can transfer the soup to a blender and then return it to the pot. Stir the kale into the warm soup and allow it to wilt down (you can add extra kale if you like things extra green!). Season soup to taste.
5. Transfer soup to bowls and top it with toasted chickpeas. Serve.