This roasted red pepper soup is an easy, elegant, comforting bowl of goodness that’s loaded with vegetables, including peppers, onion, carrots, fennel, and cannellini beans. Crunchy croutons make it a little indulgent.
This roasted red bell pepper soup is for when you’re craving comfort food but determined to maintain some measure of virtuousness. It’s easy to make, loaded with good-for-you vegetables, and can be on your table in just 45 minutes. If you’re feeling extra abstemious, you can ditch the crunchy easy peasy homemade croutons, although we urge you to think twice before doing so!–Angie Zoobkoff
*Do I have to peel roasted red peppers?
Look, you don’t have to. If you roast them until the skin is super soft and make sure they get good and steamy, then you should just be able to purée them without peeling. Although if you do decide to peel them, leaving a little bit of that charred skin on will give you another layer of flavor. Bottom line? Don’t make yourself crazy trying to get all the last bits of skin off, if at all.
Roasted Red Pepper Soup
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
- 1 medium (6 oz) yellow onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 small (8 oz) fennel bulb coarsely chopped
- 3 to 4 large (8 oz) carrots chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves plus more for garnish
- 1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 (3 oz) roasted red bell pepper coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup cooked cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons store-bought or homemade tomato paste
- 4 cups store-bought or homemade vegetable broth
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Homemade Croutons for serving (optional)
- In a large pot over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, fennel, carrots, and thyme. Cook, stirring frequently, until the carrots begin to brown at the edges, about 10 minutes.
- Add the balsamic vinegar, bell pepper, cannellini beans, tomato paste, vegetable broth, and another few pinches of salt. Simmer until the carrots are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Using an immersion blender, purée the soup until smooth. (Alternatively, let the soup cool for at least 10 minutes before carefully pouring it into a blender and puréeing until smooth, working in batches if necessary).
- Taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Warm the soup over medium-low heat, if necessary.
- Ladle the soup into bowls. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with thyme, crack some black pepper over the top, and, if desired, plop in the croutons.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This scrumptious winner is hearty and full of flavor and it will satisfy vegan AND non-vegan taste buds. It’s a breeze to put together and you can make it ahead of time. The recipe calls for ingredients with distinctive flavors, but none are overpowering in the finished soup; they together create one harmonious delectable taste. The toasty garlic-y croutons are a wonderful addition in terms of flavor and aroma, but also their crunch is great in the silky, luscious soup. A great improvement from just serving bread on the side!
The recipe made 5 cups of soup and will serve 4 (as a main) to 6 (as a starter).
Just as an aside: the leftover ingredients made a new fabulous meal. I saved the fennel stalks and fronds—sautéed them with the remaining cannellini beans from the can and roasted peppers from the jar, and added them to cooked quinoa. A little olive oil and balsamic vinegar and a delicious salad was born!
This roasted red bell pepper soup turned out very satisfying and could easily make a week night meal with salad and bread. I had 4 to 5 servings of soup. This soup was quick to make and we enjoyed the combined tart/sweet flavor from the fennel, balsamic vinegar, and roasted red peppers. I think the soup could be frozen and have at a moments notice for a quick meal. We loved the croutons on top.
This is totally vegetarian with the vegetable broth but was very filling with the addition of the beans. I think I would add more cannellini beans next time–who cooks 1/4 cup of beans or just uses 1/4 cup from a can?
The flavor of the soup is great and made the whole house smell good. I think itʻs the roasted red pepper. I would make it again.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Elizabeth and Lena Alvarez
This is a terrific, quick, easy soup. The sweetness of the fennel and roasted peppers and carrots all meld, and you’ll have this on the table ready to serve in 45 minutes. Rave reviews from all who tested, either smooth or chunky.
We’d urge you to not skip the croutons. We used a couple of day-old rolls and about a tablespoon of olive oil.
Because I like soup with texture, I did not puree all the soup, but left half as it was. This is the type of soup that improves after a day, so perhaps make a double batch?