Tomato soup made with fresh tomatoes creates the most flavorful soup. Add roasted red bell peppers for added sweetness, and olive oil for richness, blend it up in a high-speed blender or use an immersion blender for the creamiest texture. You can batch-make and freeze with ease to preserve for winter days ahead. This 5 Ingredient Red Pepper and Tomato Soup is vegetarian, vegan and gluten free. [See VIDEO in recipe card!]
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Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup Inspiration
I haven’t quite jumped on the pumpkin train, although I am eye’n those beauties and am looking forward to Fall flavors. There are still tomatoes to be had and bell peppers continue to make their appearance at farms and markets.
Thierry Rauteureau, an award-winning Chef and restaurateur in Seattle hosted a cooking demonstration at a conference I attended several years back. It was this creamy tomato soup recipe he shared that made me look at heirloom tomatoes in a different way. I’d never considered cooking them (gah!) since they’re so delicious raw. But he showed me how to prepare them, allowing their juicy and fresh flavors to shine.
You’re going to love how simple this recipe is to pull together!
Ingredients You’ll Need
Just five ingredients for the richest, creamiest soup! Here’s what you need (see recipe card for details):
- Fresh Tomatoes: I like whatever I can find that’s fresh and in season, but always include at least one big juicy heirloom tomato.
- Red Bell Peppers: you’ll roast these. Home-roasted red bell peppers have more flavor, and while I prefer this approach, you can purchase already roasted and peeled red bell peppers in a jar, saving some time.
- Olive Oil: good quality extra virgin olive oil. This makes the soup ultra creamy without added cream. Although, a splash of cream is quite tasty in this soup!
- Fresh Basil: or other favorite herb such as thyme or rosemary. This will be purred in the soup so the flavors infuse throughout.
- Fine Sea Salt: to bring out the best flavors in the soup. Add more or less to taste.
Quick Guide: How to Make Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup
This recipe can be made all on the stovetop, in the oven or on the grill. All methods work beautifully. In summary, here’s how to do it (see recipe card for details):
- First, roast the red bell peppers either on a gas flame on the stove top (or grill) or in the oven set on broil.
- Second, cook the tomatoes in a bit of olive oil on the stove-top, on the grill in a cast iron skillet or in the oven just under the broiling red peppers.
- Next, once the peppers are charred, steam them for about 10 minutes in a lidded bowl. Then, peel the skin and remove the stem and seeds.
- Last, toss the peppers and tomatoes plus all their juices in a blender. Blend, then drizzle in olive oil to make the soup extra creamy. Toss in a bit of salt, basil and fresh ground pepper.
Making red pepper and tomato soup from scratch is simple and a recipe everyone should have in their back pocket. Adding a few roasted red bell peppers to an already creamy tomato soup creates an even richer, a little sweeter soup. And just look at that color!
- For the tomatoes, I use what I have on hand fresh from the farmers market or garden if available. Usually, it’s a mix of heirloom, cherry and/or stupice. Just be sure to squeeze in at least one large heirloom. Their flavor is worth it.
- Main or Appetizer: This roasted red pepper and tomato soup can be enjoyed as a main with a big salad like Apple Cranberry Salad, or Vegetarian Kale Caesar Salad, Almond Sage Pesto Grilled Cheese, and/or Rustic Sourdough Bread. This soup is also a lovely addition as an appetizer. It makes a gorgeous starter for Thanksgiving.
- One of the keys to making this tomato red pepper soup extra creamy and rich is the process of creating an emulsion with the olive oil. Heat and motion help create this culinary wonder. I use a VitaMix, but an immersion blender works beautifully too.
- Freezer friendly? Yes, please! I’ve stored this soup in the freezer up to a year with good results. It was a cold January day when I pulled that frozen jar from the freezer. Just be sure to thaw in the fridge overnight and whisk vigorously or blend in a blender to re-emulsify.
More Soup Recipes to Love
5-Ingredient Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup Recipe
- 1 lb (453g) Red Bell Peppers about two large peppers
- 3 lbs (1.3kg) Tomatoes you'll need about about 3 medium heirlooms or a mix of heirlooms, cherry and on the vine ripe tomatoes.
- 4-5 Large Basil Leaves optional
- 1/4 C Olive Oil + 1 Tbs for saute'
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- Fresh Lemon Juice Just a squeeze before blending brightens the soup - but is optional.
- Optional Garnishes: chives, basil leaves, cherry tomatoes, drizzle of olive oil, fresh ground black pepper.
Roast the Peppers (3 options):
- Oven Roasting Peppers: Preheat oven to Broil. Place the peppers on a sheet pan and char large peppers for about 15 minutes rotating every 4-5 minutes so that all sides are blackened. Minis take less time, rotate about every 3 minutes. Stove Top Open Flame Method: Place the peppers on the grate over a medium open flame, using tongs to turn the peppers as they char. Getting them good and blackened. You'll need to make sure to watch the peppers closely while roasting. This takes about 10-15 minutes.Grill Method: Heat grill to highest heat setting. Place the peppers directly on the grill grate, using tongs to rotate the peppers as they char, getting each side blackened. This takes about 15-20 minutes.
- The peppers should be charred on all sides, top and bottom when finished. Place in a bowl and cover for 15 minutes to steam (this will help the skins come off with ease). Peel, remove the stem and deseed. If the seeds are sticking, gently run the pepper under a stream of water. Slice the peppers in large chunks and place in a high speed blender, I use VitaMix.
Prep the Tomatoes:
- Meanwhile, destem and cut tomatoes into large chunks. In a large skillet, add 1 Tbs of olive oil. Heat on low, then add the tomatoes and basil leaves. The tomatoes need to be softened and heated through, for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Alternatively, the tomatoes can be roasted in a 425F oven for about 35 minutes OR in a cast iron skillet on the grill.
Make the Soup:
- I use a VitaMix to puree' the soup, but an immersion blender works beautifully too. Pour the tomatoes in the blender with the bell pepper. Add the basil now and a squeeze of lemon if using. Place the lid on, leaving the steam vent plug off. Hold a thick towel, folded several times, over the vent as to let some steam escape while blending. Starting on low, increase the speed of the blender to medium high. Puree' the tomatoes and bell peppers for about one minute on medium high speed.
- Turn the blender down to low and slowly add the olive oil. Add the sea salt. Turn back up to medium high and puree' for another minute or until desired consistency. Water can be blended in to thin the soup if needed.
- Taste for seasoning adjustment. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, diced tomatoes and ground pepper. Refrigerate in a lidded container for up to three days or freeze for up to a year. Thaw in the fridge overnight, and gently warm on stovetop whisking, to bring the soup together.