Spanish-Inspired Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

Huma Qurashi By Huma Qurashi

This light and slightly spicy soup boasts a pronounced roasted red pepper flavor with a hint of smokiness that evokes memories of Spanish cuisine. Although it’s originally vegan, you can easily infuse it with cream for a richer, creamier finish.

This delightful roasted red pepper and tomato soup is more than just a recipe—it’s a tribute to the end of summer’s sweltering heat. It sits between the realms of gazpacho and creamy tomato soup, offering the perfect balance. As the temperature finally eases, I encourage you to savor this soup using the last ripe bell peppers and tomatoes.

This light and slightly spicy soup boasts a pronounced roasted red pepper flavor with a hint of smokiness that evokes memories of Spanish cuisine. Although it’s originally vegan, you can easily infuse it with cream for a richer, creamier finish. Moreover, one of the soup’s many virtues is its capability to freeze beautifully for later enjoyment.

I first shared this recipe over a decade ago on a rainy day, with my cherished canine companion, Cookie, by my side. It remains one of my favorites, and revisiting it conjures those moments back to life. I truly miss my pup.

This year, we’re cultivating both peppers and tomatoes in our backyard garden, although we won’t have enough to produce a proper batch of this soup. Grace adores picking tomatoes—her favorite pastime—and checks for more cherry tomatoes at least twice a day. She gleefully pops them straight into her mouth and craves for more.

Now that I’ve captured the essence of my favorite summer flavors, I’ll soon be prepared for creamy fall bisques and hearty vegetarian chili. What are you planning to make next?

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How to Prepare Spanish Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

The detailed recipe is provided below, but in essence, you’ll begin by roasting all the produce on two baking sheets—tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, and garlic. Subsequently, bring vegetable broth to a boil, add the roasted vegetables, and simmer for approximately 10 minutes to meld the flavors. Finally, blend the soup using an immersion blender or a stand blender.

Customizing Your Soup

This red pepper and tomato soup exudes delightful flavors and a lightness of being in its original form. Here are a few variations that you might find equally enjoyable.

Create a creamy texture: For a smoother texture and a more subdued flavor profile, incorporate heavy cream or half and half into the soup (refer to the recipe notes for recommended quantities). Alternatively, you can serve individual portions with a drizzle of cream, or a dollop of sour cream or vegan sour cream.

Introduce fresh basil: For an extra layer of garden-fresh flavor, blend 5 to 15 fresh basil leaves into the soup at the end. Start with 5 leaves, blend, and add more if desired.

Storing Soup for Future Use

This recipe yields a substantial quantity of soup and freezes exceptionally well. I recommend freezing the soup in glass canning jars, ensuring that they are only filled to the freezer line (leaving at least an inch of space at the top for expansion). Tightly secure the lids, freeze completely, and then fully tighten the lids (to prevent pressure buildup during freezing).

When it’s time to defrost, transfer the jar to the refrigerator overnight. I prefer using small half-pint canning jars for freezing individual servings of soup, as they defrost more quickly than larger containers.

Accompaniments for Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

I can attest that this soup pairs wonderfully with grilled cheese sandwiches, simple quesadillas, or for a dairy-free option, try my hummus quesadillas. It also complements avocado toast and nearly any green salad.

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More Soul-Warming Soups to Explore

Here are a handful of my favorite tomato-based soups and stews on Cookie and Kate. They are all designed for canned tomatoes rather than fresh.

  • Classic Minestrone Soup

  • Pasta e Fagioli (Italian Pasta and Beans)

  • Seriously Good Vegetable Soup

  • Lightened Up Tomato Soup

  • Tortilla Soup

Find additional soup and stew recipes here. As always, please share your experience with the recipe in the comments! Your feedback is invaluable.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes

  • Cook Time: 55 minutes

  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

  • Yield: About 12 cups

  • Category: Soup

  • Method: Various

  • Cuisine: Spanish-Inspired

  • Diet: Vegan

Celebrate the waning summer heat with this roasted red pepper and tomato soup. Whip up a large batch to freeze for cooler weather! The recipe yields a generous amount of soup, approximately 12 cups, and it freezes exceptionally well.

Ingredients

  • 8 to 9 medium tomatoes (about 5 pounds), cored and quartered

  • 3 red bell peppers (about 1 pound), seeded and quartered

  • 2 small yellow onions, cut into wedges about ¾” wide on the outer edges

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

  • 6 cloves garlic, unpeeled

  • 4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable broth

  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (omit if sensitive to spice)

  • Fine salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit with racks in the upper third and middle of the oven. Line two large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Place the tomatoes on one prepared baking sheet and the bell peppers and onions on the other baking sheet. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over each baking sheet.

  3. Lightly coat the tomatoes in oil and position them so the skin sides are facing down. Set them aside.

  4. Lightly coat the onions and red peppers in oil and position the red peppers with the skin sides facing down. Place the unpeeled garlic cloves on the sheet as well.

  5. Place the tomatoes on the top rack of the oven and the peppers and onion on the middle rack. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the vegetables are tender throughout and turning golden on the edges.

  6. Once the vegetables are done, bring the vegetable broth to a boil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Peel the garlic and add it to the broth, along with the roasted vegetables, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper (if using), and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Simmer for 10 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a steady simmer.

  7. Purée the soup using an immersion blender or transfer the soup to a blender in batches. Season to taste with salt and pepper. This soup keeps well, covered and refrigerated, for 4 days in the refrigerator, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

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Notes

Adapted from Heidi Swanson’s recipe for roasted tomato and red bell pepper soup in Super Natural Cooking and Sara of Sprouted Kitchen’s recipe for roasted tomato soup.

Make it creamy option: Add 2 tablespoons heavy cream or ¼ cup half and half to the soup for a creamier texture and mellow flavor (adjust to taste). Alternatively, serve bowls with a dollop of sour cream or vegan sour cream.

Basil variation: Add anywhere between 5 to 15 fresh basil leaves to the blender (start with less, taste, and add more as desired).

▸ Nutrition Information

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Hi! I'm Huma Qurashi, an international educator and food writer, excited about bringing you traditional Pakistani recipes from across the country.
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