Roasted Red Pepper and Squash Soup

Roasted Red Pepper and Squash Soup from Diet, Dessert and Dogs

Regular readers of this blog won’t be surprised to learn that I am averse to cold weather. In fact, I dread it. Ever year as the thermometer drops, so do my spirits. I can’t help it; I hate winter.

I hate winter so much that I shiver just at the thought of impending snow and ice.

I hate it so much that I want to snap a photo of it and then stick voodoo needles in its eyes.

I hate winter so much that if someone said, “Oh, if you moved to Florida, you’d miss having four seasons,” my immediate rejoinder would be, “you mean the way you’d miss tarantulas or alligators?”

I hate it so much that every December, I feel like issuing a ban on anything white from my home, car or closet.

I hate it SO much that I almost feel as if global warming is a good thing*.

And you know what? (I bet you do): I’m really not much of a fan, either.

Squash and Roasted Red Pepper Soup from Diet, Dessert and Dogs

Well, if I had to pick one nice thing about the frosty season (and believe me, that’s no easy task), it would be winter squashes and all their concomitant yummy comfort foods.  Ever since I embarked on a Squash-a-Thon around here, I’ve been cooking up all manner of squash and root veg-based dishes (and I’m really excited about the next one coming up–so cute I can hardly stand it!!).  Along with all that simmering squash, I had the urge to make a soup.

One of the foods that I just don’t seem to crave any other time of year is soups. Maybe I overdid it on the Cabbage Soup Diet back in my 30s (cabbage soup for breakfast, lunch and dinner plus snacks for, oh, a month of so, as I recall), but for the most part, I’m not a huge soup fan.  Which is too bad, especially when they taste as great as this one.

This thick, stick-to-your-ribs soup is made creamy and substantial with a trick I learned last year via the Drs. McDougall. The added oatmeal (yes, you read that correctly!) provides an extra hit of protein as well in the soup, along with a sweet-smoky-savory triad of pear, roasted pepper and sautéed onion and garlic.  Add some kabocha as the base, and a gal could almost get to like these chilly months after all.

On second thought, naw.

* Of course I don’t really think that global warming is a good thing.  Must be all this autumn weather making me snarky.

(And please–if any of you have any advice for making it through to April in good spirits, please share! I want to like winter; I really do.)

Squash and Roasted Pepper Soup from Diet, Dessert and Dogs

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Last Year at this Time: Autumn Fruit Crumble (gluten free; ACD Stage 3 and beyond)

Two Years Ago: Vegan Tortière (“Meat” Pie) (gluten free; ACD all stages)

Three Years Ago: Faux Chocolate (gluten free; ACD all stages)

Four Years Ago: Balti Tofu and Chickpeas in a  Creamy Coconut Sauce  (gluten free; ACD all stages)

© Ricki Heller, Diet, Dessert and Dogs

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  1. Gosh, I HATE winter too Ricki!! I totally get it. Growing up in Newfoundland I couldn’t stand any minute of the slush and snow and ice and having to hack the packed snow/ice off a windshield!! Winters in BC have me spoiled now, and I’m already wearing scarves/hats in October. This soup looks like it will cure what ails us in winter. Really beautiful recipe, love the addition of pear. 🙂

    • I can’t even imagine winter in the Maritimes–Montreal winters (and now Toronto) are more than enough for me, and they’re not even considered that bad!! And don’t feel bad about wearing your scarf/hat. I’ve already donned the earmuffs several times! 😉

  2. I’m afraid I have no advice for you my friend! I just haaate the cold. Lots of tea and hot cocoa helps, as does curling up inside under a blanket 🙂

    This soup sounds delicious- love the addition of the oatmeal!

  3. oh that soup sounds so good – I think that having you spending a week in Melbourne with the temperature hovering around 40 C would make you appreciate winter 🙂 I feel the same way about the hot weather as you feel about the cold! And at least in the cold you can keep on layering on clothes whereas in the heat there is only so much you can take off! I just love winter but I know if we had your winters I might feel differently.

  4. Soups like this are the ONLY good thing about winter. You have my sympathy. At least in Wisconsin it was sunny a lot of the time, and I don’t mind cold so much when the sun is shining. Here, it just rains and rains and the damp makes it feel colder. My solution is we should all go to San Diego! It was gorgeous there with warmth and sunshine. We won’t have to worry until Dec. when the high will only be 65˚F, but it’s all uphill from there. We may not be able to afford housing, but we won’t be cold. 🙂

    • Ah, now I get the San Diego reference! It does sound beautiful. When I used to live in Windsor as an undergraduate, they had the kind of weather you describe–it never really snowed, but because of the damp, it felt even colder than it did in Montreal. Time for soup. LOTS of soup. 😉

  5. This is a beautiful bowl of soup Ricki! I love the addition of oats – who would’ve thought? I MUCH prefer Spring, Summer, Fall so I try to focus on the fact that I might not appreciate those months so much if it weren’t for Winter 🙂

    • Thanks, Maggie! The oats really do add creaminess. And while I like those other seasons, I know that I’d STILL appreciate them just fine with no winter!!

  6. Oh, Ricki, that is one good looking soup! How interesting on the oat addition. I bet almond flour might add the same type of creaminess. I add that to smoothies sometimes and it makes them creamy. Anwyay, I adore soup and actually enjoy winter, but I don’t live in a place where it’s non-stop winter 24/7 for days on end. Our cold weather and snow come and go fairly quickly. I admit that I like it like that. 😉 I will make this soup soon! Thank you!


    • Thanks, Shirley! I never thought of almond flour, though I’ve used almond butter in soup before (fabulous). And I think I could get behind your weather, too–though not the snakes. 😉

  7. I’m no help – it’s why I moved back to the sunshine. But soup like this does make the cold weather better. Gorgeous pictures too Ricki!

  8. Love the oatmeal in the soup, Ricki! I’ve added it to smoothies but never thought to add it to a soup, before… Well, there was an Irish oatmeal soup I wanted to try but I don’t even think it was pureed. 😉

  9. Part of me likes the change of seasons, but I just moved from FL to WI and I’m not really looking forward to winter this year! It’s ok as long as I can still do stuff outside. Otherwise, I just sit around, cold and complaining…

    • Loretta, you sound like me in the winter!! 😉 I’m hoping to make a move in the opposite direction. . one day to live with no winter! Hope yours turns out milder than you think. 🙂

  10. I’m the opposite, I absolutely detest the summer and live for fall (and spring). That being said, as I get older I am having a more difficult time with the extreme cold in the dead of winter too. I always make sure I have lots of my favorite teas on hand. Exercise is also good for keeping your mood up. Getting outside in the morning increases the chance that you’ll actually see the sun. Also, when you are really feeling chilled, hot yoga can do wonders. I can’t even contemplate doing it when it isn’t freezing outside, but in the middle of winter, it can be the perfect thing.

    • Erica, my older sister is like that–LOVES winter (strange we’re related!). Tea is good, yes, and exercise helps, but I’m still no fan. Guess I’ll have to try hot yoga. . . after I try cold yoga. 😉

  11. We used to say the cold keeps the riff-raff out but I always wonder why I live here every fall when I think of winter coming. (Minnesota/North Dakota)

  12. I hate the cold but I don’t hate winter! I look forward to sweater weather! BUT we don’t have Winters like you do!

    I just LOVE the combination of flavours in this soup (though I don’t do well with GF oats so I might just leave them out). It’s definitely one to make! YUM!

  13. I love that trick of adding some oatmeal – I’m not a fan of winter either, but I do like soup and that helps me get through. I need to try this recipe – never had pear in soup before, but I love that idea too.

  14. Hi Ricki

    Come and visit us in Australia, I imagine our winters in Sydney are nothing compared to yours. Even though winter temperatures would be considered mild by Northern Hemisphere dwellers I hate them and can feel my spirits drop with the temperature, too. Today is a toasty 27 degrees Celcius and it is only just Spring .

  15. We seem to have suddenly gotten really cold weather this year when some years we are still in sandals in October and I can’t find my stash of gloves/scarves/sweaters/hats. I am with you on the cold weather….I spend much of my time seeking out warmth ie saunas, baths, fireplaces, hot drinks and dreaming of summer the rest of the time 🙂

    • Ah, saunas–what a great idea, Laurel!! I am SO going there this winter. 😉 And I forgot about the fireplace, one other lovely aspect of the cold season.

  16. Agreed, soup is the best part of winter! This one looks like a winner. Big warm hugs!

  17. Go global warming! 😛

    Ricki, not only does your soup look absolutely lovely and delicious, but the way you presented it and photographed it is stunning! I am so bad at placing props for food photos, which is why I prefer to do “extreme close ups” and focus on the food. That way nobody can tell how much I suck at styling! 🙂

    • I beg to differ, Ms. River!! Your photos are lovely. And they’re not ALL closeups, are they–? (or am I misremembering those ghosties??). 🙂

  18. I’m absolutely with you. I’m dreading how cold it will get here, but I figure that I hate winter in Canberra, so what the hey! At least if I’m in a new country, it’ll be a novelty.

  19. Having a bowl of this beautiful soup in front of me would definitely help me face the long winter with a smile. Great recipes!

  20. Woah, oatmeal? Great idea! I like to toss some quinoa or brown rice into my soups to thicken them up, but oatmeal is an interesting thought. I’ll definitely have to give it a try. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Thanks, Katie! The oatmeal doesn’t really change the flavors at all. . . just thickens it up! Brown rice is a great idea, too. Thanks! 🙂

  21. Oatmeal in soup?! I must admit, that is totally new to me 🙂

  22. Deborah Baker says

    Here’s what’s worked for me to get through these nasty Michigan winters: Start surfing all the vacation rentals online, dream about, save up for, and book that trip to Georgia or Florida for March/April. It gets you through 🙂


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