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Soup for the Ventos

I had my dear friends, Lori and Jonathan Vento, over for dinner. Not this last weekend, because they are back in Chicago, freezing their little toes off! It was actually last month, while they were here visiting and Lori’s mom was along for the trip.

For our first course, I decided to combine two of my favorite vegetables. I love butternut squash soup and I equally adore red bell pepper soup. They are both bright and beautiful and doubly so when in the same bowl.

Off-topic… It’s been a very long time since I’ve posted any adorable photos of my exceedingly adorable 2-year-old cats, Bombay and Bailey. While scrolling back through my photos to find the pictures to accompany this recipe, I found a few cat pics. Honestly, I found a ton of cat pics, I am constantly taking pictures of them. I only chose a few to share though. They are at the bottom of the post … after the recipe … if adorable cat photos are your thing!

Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Sweet Bell Pepper Purée

Roasted Sweet Bell Pepper Purée

  • 2 bell peppers; red, orange, and/or yellow
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 pounds cubed butternut squash
  • 5 to 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • Zest from 1 large orange
  • Toasted pepitas

Roasted Sweet Bell Pepper Purée: Roast, peel, stem, and seed the bell peppers, coarsely chop.

Purée the chopped roasted peppers, olive oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper in a blender or food processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Soup: Heat oil in a heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions; sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook another minute.

Add the squash and 5 cups of the broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until squash is soft, about 35 minutes.

Purée soup, in batches, in a blender until smooth. Return purée to the pot. Stir in the orange zest. Thin soup with more broth to the consistency you prefer. Taste, reheat if needed, and season with salt and pepper.

Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle 1/4 cup of the pepper purée onto the top of each bowl. Garnish with toasted pepitas and serve.

Serves 4

Bombay on one of his many perches.

Bailey found a new favorite perch after I cleared off this shelf in the master bathroom.

I snapped this picture of Bailey while she was intently watching over 2 dozen quail outside the sitting room off the master bedroom.

Bombay was in my sink until Bailey chased him out and took it over.

I took this picture just this morning when I walked in on them both lounging on their backs with their bellies exposed. When they see me, they stretch out, even more, inviting me to rub their bellies, which they love, until they don’t. At which point they attack!  I do love them!







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1 Lori Vento { 03.20.17 at 2:54 PM }

Ahhhh, lovely memory. Thank you for reminder of such a lovely evening. The food was excellent, but the company was better 🙂 However, in the future, I would like to NOT compete with your kittys in the photos . . . . . they are much cuter! LOVE! xoxo

2 Marissa { 03.20.17 at 5:48 PM }

The kitties are so dang cute!

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