This creamy and healthy roasted red pepper tomato soup recipe from scratch is better than any store-bought soup. Ready in minutes & kids love it! Serve with fresh homemade artisan bread and top with Parmesan cheese.
Sometimes the best recipes are born by accident.
Mexi-lentil macaroni was created because I needed dinner and didn’t have much in the pantry. 90-minute man bread was born because we needed bread, we were short on time and my husband didn’t want to follow a recipe.
Roasted red pepper tomato soup can be attributed to finding a wrinkly red pepper that was originally intended for another meal, but wasn’t used. Instead of throwing it away, I put it in my family’s favorite soup.
Having an alternate purpose for things in the fridge is what I call Plan B, and I teach this concept in-depth in my course Grocery Budget Bootcamp.
For today’s recipe though, it was pure experimentation. I had no idea whether adding red pepper to the soup would work or not. In fact, my husband suggested I didn’t, in case I ruined dinner.
But he was SO GLAD I didn’t listen to him that day because he likes this soup even better than the original recipe!
My original recipe for tomato basil soup is super easy. Canned tomatoes, homemade chicken stock, fresh or dried basil, and cream all blended up inside the pot with the oh-so-handy immersion blender until it’s ultra-smooth and delicious. One pot to clean and you’re done.
It’s like your favorite pair of jeans, a t-shirt, and flip flops. Comfortable, predictable, every day.
Paired with a grilled cheese sandwich on whole-wheat bread and it’s one of my favorite childhood staple meals, only made with real food.
This roasted red pepper tomato soup recipe is super easy too, but it’s a bit more dressed up.
It’s like a pair of skinny jeans, a flowy blouse, and booties. Chic, slightly sassy, fun.
This is what I’d make if we were having company over for dinner, which I’ve actually done since we’ve had EIGHT different families visit us in the past 3 months alone.
Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup
Besides the fact that this soup is a fan favorite, you have tons of options and flexibility in this recipe, depending on what you’re looking for…
- Dairy-free – omit the milk (my preferred option!) or sub with almond milk
- Vegan – substitute vegetable stock for chicken stock, olive oil for butter
- Gluten-free – NOTHING! This recipe is naturally gluten-free.
- Tomatoes – sub fresh tomatoes from the garden if you have them!
Ingredients for roasted red pepper tomato soup
A simple list of delicious wholesome ingredients:
- Onion, chopped
- Garlic cloves, chopped
- Italian style tomatoes, canned (whole or even diced tomatoes)
- Homemade chicken broth (read my method here)
- Fresh basil
- Half & half
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste (ground black pepper is ok, too)
- Parmesan cheese, to taste
Note: Some people like to use heavy cream, but I prefer the half & half to make it just a little lighter.
How do you make roasted red pepper soup from scratch?
- Melt butter and add onions; cook until translucent.
- Add garlic and cook, until aromatic.
- Add tomatoes and stock and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook.
- Add basil. Puree with an immersion blender until smooth.
- Turn off the heat and add cream while stirring.
Serve with salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese to taste.
Can I use green bell pepper?
Green bell peppers have a very pungent taste and it will be very noticeable in the final soup.
Red peppers are much more mellow and sweeter than green. You could even use an orange or yellow pepper if you’d like, but I stuck with red since it’s the same color as tomatoes (picky eaters notice these types of things).
Do I have to roast the red pepper for red pepper tomato soup?
Yes! Roasting sounds a bit fancy, but it really means you’re going to char (a.k.a. burn) the pepper first – like the picture above. Super easy and great for those who tend to burn things anyway!
You can do this a few different ways:
- In the oven, directly on the grate under the broiler.
- On top of the gas stove, holding with a pair of long, stainless steel tongs.
- On the grill, if you’re already grilling something else that week.
Almost every roasted pepper recipe I’ve come across has you peel the charred skin off the pepper before using it. I’ve made this soup both with peeling the skin and leaving it on and the only difference was the teeny tiny flecks of black in the soup.
But if someone asks (a.k.a. the picky kid or picky spouse), those flecks can be pepper… or basil… if you catch my drift.
Want to save time on roasting red pepper for tomato soup?
It’s summer right now and I’m all about NOT heating up the kitchen whenever possible. That means…
- Roasting the pepper when we’re already making pizza on Friday nights.
- Sticking a pepper on the grill when we’re making burgers.
- Roasting TWO peppers instead of one to make an extra batch of soup for the freeze and eliminating cooking another meal altogether.
You MUST roast the pepper, but work smarter.
Is Tomato Soup Healthy?
Yes! According to the Oxford Journal of Nutrition, tomatoes are functional food full of vitamins and nutrients that can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and more!
More Easy Soup Recipes
- Kung Fu Panda Soup
- Red Lentil Vegetable Soup
- Zuppa Toscana Soup
- Homemade Tortilla Soup
- Easy Minestrone Soup
- Instant Pot White Bean Soup With Sausage and Kale
Real Food RebootSign up to join the 30-day Real Food Reboot Challenge! It will help you and your family eat healthier food for the long-haul. In less than 15 minutes a day, you can change habits, feel better, AND bring your family along too!
Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup
This creamy and healthy roasted red pepper tomato soup recipe from scratch is better than any store-bought soup. Ready in minutes & kids love it!
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 15 mins
- Yield: 4 2-cup servings 1x
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stove top, blend
- Cuisine: American
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 Tbsp butter OR olive oil
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1–28 oz can peeled whole tomatoes
- 2 cups chicken stock (how to make chicken stock in a slow cooker)
- 1–2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup milk OR cream OR half & half (optional)
- First, char the red bell pepper by roasting it. You can do this by putting in the oven, directly on the grate under the broiler; on top of the gas stove, holding with a pair of long, stainless steel tongs; or on the grill. Let it roast for 3-5 minutes, keeping a close eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn. Set the pepper aside.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent, taking care not to burn the garlic.
- Add the tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
- If desired, peel the outside skin of the pepper off before placing it into the pot of soup. Otherwise, pull the stem off the pepper (it should easily come off) and place the whole pepper – seeds and membranes and skin – into the pot.
- Using an immersion blender, blend everything together until smooth. Alternatively, blend in batches in a blender (but be careful – it will be hot).
- Add salt and pepper to taste. If desired, finish with milk or cream before serving.
Keywords: Roasted red pepper tomato soup
This is one of my husband’s favorite soup recipes! What is your family’s favorite soup recipe?