Think of this roasted red pepper soup as a kind of grown-up version of standard tomato soup — how about serving it with vegan grilled cheese sandwiches?
An earlier version of this soup in one of my earlier books instructed the cook to take several bell peppers, roast them until charred in the oven’s broiler, put them in a bag while they cooled, and finally, to slip off the skins.
Roasting red peppers isn’t all that difficult or complicated to do, but bumping into the recipe recently, I just couldn’t get behind doing all these steps even before actually starting the soup!
Use roasted red peppers to make it easy. The idea is still a good one, and the color of the soup is so enticing. To speed things up, I’ve updated the original bell peppers-only recipe to use roasted peppers from a jar or your supermarket’s olive bar.
A small-batch soup: This is a small batch soup — 4 generous or 6 smaller servings — rather than a big potful of soup. You can use an immersion blender to puree this soup, but I like to transfer it to a blender it to get it super smooth.
It’s ready quickly. This is a nice first course rather than a meal in a bowl, served before most any kind of meal. And it’s yours to enjoy quickly — about 20 minutes from start to table.
- 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for optional garnish
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 12 ounces roasted red bell peppers (from a jar or the olive bar), with a little of their liquid, coarsely chopped
- 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 teaspoons barbecue seasoning (see note), or to taste
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1 cup plain unsweetened nondairy milk
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Finely chopped fresh herbs (scallions, parsley, cilantro, or a combination)
- 1 fresh red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into thin rings
- Heat the oil in a small soup pot. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until the onion is soft and just beginning to turn golden.
- Add the tomatoes, bell peppers, chickpeas, barbecue seasoning, paprika, lemon juice, and 1 cup water. Bring to a slow boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Transfer the soup to a blender, in batches if need be, and process until smoothly pureed. Or, insert an immersion blender into the soup and process until smooth.
- Season salt and pepper. If time allows, let the soup stand for an hour or so to allow the flavors to blend and develop. Heat through as needed before serving.
- Garnish each serving with a sprinkling of fresh herbs, and 3 or 4 rings of fresh bell pepper. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil, if you’d like.
Barbecue seasoning blends are available in the spice section of most supermarkets. They come in several varieties like mesquite or smoky maple. Any of them work in this recipe.
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 347Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 406mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 14gSugar: 17gProtein: 16g
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