Hearty and rich with just 5 ingredients in this creamy Roasted Red Bell Pepper and Heirloom Tomato Soup. Freeze with ease to preserve for winter days ahead. gluten free + vegan *Recipe updated Sept. 2018 with new pictures, text and a few additional recipe notes.
Looks almost like pumpkin, doesn’t it? I haven’t quite jumped on the pumpkin train yet, although, I am eye’n those beauties and am looking forward to Fall flavors. There are still heirloom tomatoes to be had and bell peppers continue to make their appearance at farms and markets.
Thierry Rauteureau, an award-winning Chef and restaurateur from 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 since they’re so delicious raw. But he showed me how to prepare them simply, allowing their juicy and fresh flavors to shine.
Making tomato soup from scratch is so 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!
How to Make Roasted Red Bell Pepper and Heirloom Tomato Soup from Scratch:
Start by roasting the red bell peppers either on a gas flame or in the oven. Meanwhile, cook the tomatoes in a bit of olive oil on the stove-top and toss in a few leaves of basil. The tomatoes can also be roasted in the oven if desired.
Once the peppers are charred, steam them for about 15 minutes, then peel the skin and remove the stem and seeds. 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 and fresh ground pepper.
A Few Recipe Notes:
- For the tomatoes, I use what I have on hand. Usually a mix of heirloom, cherry and/or stupice. Just be sure to squeeze in at least one large heirloom. Their flavor is worth it.
- This creamy tomato soup recipe can be enjoyed as a main with a big salad, Almond Sage Pesto Grilled Cheese, crusty bread or serve as an appetizer. It makes a gorgeous starter for Thanksgiving.
- One of the keys to making this soup extra creamy and rich is the process of creating an emulsion while the olive oil is being drizzled into the blender. Heat and motion help create this culinary wonder.
- Freezer friendly? Yes please! I’ve stored this soup in the freezer up to five months 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 give it a good blend in the blender to re-emulsify.
Roasted Red Bell Pepper and Heirloom Tomato Soup
- 1 lb (453g) Red Bell Peppers about two large peppers
- 3 lbs (1.3kg) Heirloom Tomatoes about 3 medium heirlooms
- 4-5 Large Basil Leaves
- 1/4 C Olive Oil + 1 Tbs for saute'
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- Optional Garnishes: chives, basil leaves, cherry tomatoes, drizzle of olive oil, fresh ground black pepper
Roast the Peppers (2 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 stay with the peppers the entire time while roasting. This takes about 10-15 minutes.
- The peppers should be charred on all sides 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.
- 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.
- Pour the tomatoes in the blender with the bell pepper. 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 five months.