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Winter Red Pepper and Pistachio Soup

soupWaking up on December 1st it looks like winter has finally hit Calgary! Here’s a recipe for a winter soup that has a spicy kick to it to warm your insides! As with all our recipes it also has the added benefit of providing healthy nutrients for your eyes. The 3 ingredients that are power foods in this recipe are Red Peppers, Pistachios and canola oil. The coconut milk adds a creamy texture to the soup without using heavy cream, increasing the health benefits.

Canola oil is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids decrease inflammation in the body and that promotes eye health by decreasing dry eye and it has even been linked to reducing your risk for macular degeneration. Pistachios are what make this recipe unique and they are a unique nut themselves because they contain Lutein. Lutein is a super eye food because it has been proven to bulk up your macular pigment to give you more protection against the sun, thus decreasing your risk of Macular degeneration.

Red Peppers are high in the anti-oxidants Vitamin C and beta-carotene. Beta carotene is an amazing anti-oxidant that helps to reduce your risk for macular degeneration. Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant that helps to keep you and your eyes healthy! There is actually 10-20x’s the concentration of vitamin C in the aqueous humor (fluid inside of your eye) than the fluid of the rest of your body!


2 Tbs canola oil

1 small onion, diced

2 large red bell peppers, diced

2 serrano or green Thai chilies, diced - just use 1 if you don’t like things too spicy!

2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

½ tsp ground cardamom

½ cup shelled pistachios

2 and ½ cups vegetable broth

1 cup coconut milk (the stuff in a can)

¼ cup fresh cilantro


1. Heat oil in large sauce pan or pot. Add onion and red pepper and chilies and cook stirring until onion is lightly brown (~5mins).

2. Add broth and pistachios, bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer until pistachios are fork tender (~20 mins)

3. Remove from heat and using an immersion blender puree soup until smooth. A blender can also be used by transferring soup in batches, but be careful blending the hot soup!

4. Pour in coconut milk and stir.

5. Serve sprinkled with cilantro – serves 4

For additional texture, flavour and presentation – puree an additional ¼ cup pistachios with ¼ cup water in a food processer and add a dollop on top before serving!

Recipe adapted from similar recipe on Eating Well website, but with our own twists!