With the way the weather in Cincinnati plunged into winter this weekend, I’ve spent the past two days craving warmth in every way possible. I am the biggest baby when it comes to the cold- just sit me by the fireplace, and wake me up when it’s summer again. No? That’s not an option? Ok, fine- I’ll spend my days in the kitchen basking over the heat of the stove then. One of my favorite winter meals is Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Basil Soup. I know, it’s a mouthful to say, but you won’t mind as soon as you have a belly full of this delicious dish.
I’ve always sort of been obsessed with tomato basil pasta sauce. Before I was vegan, I used to pour it on my eggs nearly every day. I also used to stir it into ground turkey, spread on toast, or simply eat a spoonful out of the jar from time to time. My love of this sauce has me asking- why has it taken so long for me to make this soup?…a recipe designed for me to spoon straight into my mouth.
I always see red pepper + tomato being combined in dishes, so I decided to add roasted peppers in as well to create another layer of flavor. If you’ve never roasted your own peppers before, you will be surprised at how easy it really is, just follow my step-by-step tutorial later on in this post.
While typically it’s a grilled cheese that goes with tomato soup, I like to play my “grown up” card and substitute my homemade Ricotta Bruschetta with Onion Jam instead.
How To Roast Red Peppers:
Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Basil Soup
- 1/4-1/3 cup olive oil - divided
- 2 medium onions - minced
- 3 celery stalks - minced
- 4 cloves of garlic - minced
- sea salt
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 3 red roasted red peppers - from a jar or homemade (peeled, seeded and pureed)
- 1- 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 3/4-1 cup fresh basil leaves - chopped
- 2-3T stevia, honey, vitafiber, or sugar - sweeten to taste with sweetener of choice
- 1T onion powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2-3 tsps fresh thyme leaves
- for garnish: cashew cream, additional olive oil, fresh basil, crusty bread
- If roasting your own red peppers, follow the method described above.
- In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, warm 2-3T olive oil. Add the onion and celery, and sauté until the onions are tender and translucent, 6-10 minutes. Add the garlic and a punch of sea salt, stir until fragrant, 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste until combined with the veggies, then pour in the pureed roasted peppers, tomatoes, and the broth.
- Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Add the basil and spices, adjusting sweetener and sea sea salt to taste. Allow to simmer at least 30 minutes, but as long as possible to allow the flavors to develop further. (I often find this tastes better the next day!
- If you would like the soup to be more smooth, allow to cool slightly and transfer the contents of the pan to a blender, and carefully blend until it forms a smooth puree. Or, if your pan is tall enough, stick an immersion blender straight in the pot to puree.
- At the last minute, stir in an additional 1-3T of olive oil. Serve hot with crusty bread and a drizzle of cashew cream, if desired.
*Add more or less broth depending on how thick you prefer your soup to be