Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

I have been envious of other blogs’ soup recipes all summer, but I get hot just thinking about drinking from a steaming bowl. Soups with tomatoes and bell peppers, which feature some of my most favorite flavors, especially mocked me. That my favorite ingredients flourished during the warmest time of the year just didn’t seem right. I made the decision to preserve those flavors in a sizable quantity of soup to bottle and freeze now that it is finally cool enough to put on the oven and stove.

I purchased a couple red bell peppers from Oklahoma at the Saturday morning farmers’ market and filled a bag with organic tomatoes on the way home from the supermarket. The last of the locally grown tomatoes were probably best used in this soup a couple of weeks ago, but I wasn’t going to let the bad weather stop me.

I awoke late on Sunday to find that it had rained the previous day as well. I changed into my rain boots and leggings and snuck into a diner with my girlfriends to talk about the birthday celebration the previous night. As usual, we bemoaned the lack of respectable males in our community (where are they?).

I made this soup for the remainder of my sluggish, restless day after finishing my meal. I hummed along to Feist’s new album while I cut the tomatoes and red bell peppers, laid out on my bed to read a few more pages of The Sun Also Rises as the veggies roasted, and stopped to cuddle with Cookie as the soup simmered on the stove. And i considered the notion that eventually, when I (probably) have a family of my own, I won’t have complete days to myself while the rain continued to fall, reinforcing my indolent ways. I follow my desires for the time being and the foreseeable future. It’s my time now.

A celebration of the end of the summer heat, my roasted red pepper and tomato soup is more than just a bowl of food. This vegan soup is somewhat spicy and tastes more like peppers than tomatoes. It pairs well with basic cheese quesadillas and grilled cheese sandwiches. I also enjoy it on toast with avocado. Which herbs create the best garnish? I’m undecided. Although chopped, fresh cilantro looked to have a somewhat more complementary flavor, dried oregano worked great.

Also read: Thai Green Curry


  • 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)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat your 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 of the prepared baking sheets. Place the bell peppers and onions on the other baking sheet. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over each baking sheet.
  3. Gently toss the tomatoes until lightly coated in oil, then position the tomatoes so the skin sides are facing down. Set aside.
  4. Gently toss the onions and red peppers until they are lightly coated in oil (try to keep the onion wedges intact as best you can). Position the red peppers with the skin sides facing down. Place the unpeeled garlic cloves on the sheet, too.
  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 nicely golden on the edges.
  6. When the vegetables are done, bring the vegetable broth to boil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Peel your garlic and toss it in. Add the roasted vegetables, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, if using, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Simmer for 10 minutes, reducing 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, several cups at a time. Season to taste with salt (I added another ½ teaspoon) and pepper. Enjoy.