This healthy Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup recipe is smooth and creamy, like a bisque, and packed with deep flavor from slow-roasting the tomatoes, onion, and garlic, and using jarred roasted red peppers! It’s easy to adapt to be vegan, it’s freezable, and it only takes about 10 minutes of hands-on time.
One of the things I always pick up when I shop at Trader Joe’s is their boxed roasted red pepper and tomato soup. You may have also seen the Pacifica brand at your grocery store. Don’t get me wrong, I love the convenience of dumping the contents of the carton into a pot to heat up and whipping up a quick grilled cheese for dinner to go with, but with piles of tomatoes to use from my garden, I wanted to figure out how to make a homemade version.
And boy, am I pleased with the result. This homemade roasted red pepper and tomato soup boasts deep flavor from slow roasting the tomatoes with six cloves of garlic and onion. I used jarred roasted red peppers for convenience and flavor- I love those things! And using homemade chicken stock was the icing on the cake. I mean, soup.
This soup is made super creamy by straining it through a mesh sieve in the end, removing any seeds and skin from the tomatoes (but you can skip this step if you’re in a hurry). Just a little heavy cream stirred in at the very end made it even more velvety smooth. You’re going to love this recipe!
How to slow roast tomatoes and garlic for soup
Slow roasting the tomatoes with garlic and onions is what makes this soup so flavorful. When you slow roast tomatoes, they get a deep, sweet flavor, and their acidity is tamed.
What I love about this recipe is that you can roast them for as long as you want. I recommend at least thirty minutes, but you can go up to two or even three hours using this method! This is very similar to making oven-dried tomatoes.
Just spread the tomatoes (any size, any kind), sliced onions, and smashed cloves of garlic on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. If you’re roasting for 30 minutes, set the temperature to 425. If you’re roasting for longer, do a cooler temperature- 350 for two hours, 300 for three hours. It’s hard to mess this up, so don’t stress yourself out too much about exact timing and temperature.
For context, I roasted my tomatoes for two hours at 350 degrees, and this is how they came out:
How to puree the roasted tomato and red pepper soup
Whenever I make a pureed soup, I use an immersion blender to blend the soup directly in the pot. It’s SO EASY!
You can transfer the soup to a traditional standing blender if you don’t have an immersion blender. But if you don’t have one, I highly recommend getting one. Truth be told, I don’t even own a standing blender! For smoothies, I just add ingredients to a wide-mouth cup and stick the immersion blender right in to make a single serving smoothie. I did this when I made baby food, too.
But I digress.
Just add the roasted tomatoes to a large pot with heated up chicken stock (or vegetable stock), and a whole jar of roasted red peppers. No need to drain them- just add the water they come in too.
And blend away! At this point, if you’re pressed for time, you can eat the soup as is. It will be more rustic and chunkier. But in the next step, I’ll explain how to make it super smooth and creamy.
How to make this tomato soup smooth and creamy
When I had the pleasure of eating at The Lost Kitchen in Freedom, ME this past summer, we were served the smoothest, creamiest asparagus soup. A quick flip through Erin French’s cookbook led me to her secret: she strains her soups through a mesh sieve to make them super smooth.
I used this method with this roasted red pepper and tomato soup. I placed the mesh sieve on top of another pot and ladled the soup into it, then used a wooden spoon to stir it around until as much liquid was squeezed out as possible. This was especially helpful because the skin and seeds from my tomatoes were a bit bitter, as they were grown in the late Texas summer heat.
Then, I stirred just a touch of heavy cream into the strained soup. YUM!
It’s easy to make this soup even more decadent and bisque-like by adding more heavy cream. If you’re looking for richness, I’d go all the way up to 1 cup!
And it’s also easy to make this tomato soup recipe vegan, dairy free, or paleo/whole30. You can easily substitute the heavy cream with a can of full-fat coconut milk. Or, just omit it- it’s delicious enough without it!
You can add herbs too- roast some oregano or thyme with the tomatoes, or wilt in some fresh basil leaves just before pureeing.
Finally, even though I used jarred roasted red peppers for this recipe, you can easily make your own roasted red peppers or even slice a couple and thrown them on the sheet pan with the tomatoes.
Other smooth, creamy soups
- Carrot Ginger Soup
- Irish Potato Leek Soup
- Butternut Squash Soup with Curry and Ginger
- Sweet Potato Soup with Bacon and Blue Cheese
- Broccoli Avocado Soup
- Mushroom Brie Soup
- Creamy Potato, Caramelized Fennel, and Kale Soup
Check out all my soup and stew recipes here!
Did you make this Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup? Please comment below and Rate this Recipe
Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
- 2.5-3 lbs. tomatoes any kind
- 1 yellow onion halved and sliced
- 6 cloves garlic smashed
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more if needed
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper plus more if needed
- 2 cups chicken stock/broth or vegetable broth
- 16 oz. jarred roasted red peppers
- 1/4 cup heavy cream or 1/2 cup milk
- fresh basil, croutons, more heavy cream, fresh cracked black pepper for serving, optional
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Halve or quarter tomatoes if you are using large ones (you can leave cherry tomatoes whole). Spread them out on a parchment-lined baking sheet along with the sliced onion and the 6 smashed cloves of garlic. Drizzle with the olive oil (2 tablespoons) and season with kosher salt (1/2 teaspoon) and pepper (1/4 teaspoon). Bake at 425 degrees F for 30 minutes (see notes).
- Meanwhile, heat up chicken stock (2 cups) in a large pot on the stove.
- Add roasted tomatoes/onions/garlic to the warm chicken stock, along with the entire jar of roasted red peppers. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup directly in the pot (or a standing blender in batches).
- OPTIONAL: Use a mesh sieve to strain the soup into another pot or large container, using a wooden spoon to squeeze as much liquid out as possible. Discard solids left behind. This will result in a very smooth, bisque-like soup.
- Stir in heavy cream (1/4 cup). Taste and season with salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve hot, garnished with croutons, fresh basil, more cream, and black pepper, if desired.
- The longer you roast the tomatoes, the more flavorful they will be. You can roast them for longer at a cooler temperature. Try an hour at 375 degrees, two hours at 350 degrees, or even three hours at 300 degrees, depending on how much time you have available.
- Prep ahead: you can roast the tomatoes up to 3 days in advance and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
- Make it vegan: omit the cream, or use full-fat canned coconut milk as an alternative.
- Freeze it: this soup is great to make in bulk because it freezes beautifully. Store it in an airtight container for up to 6 months in your freezer. Run hot water over the container to loosen it a bit, and pop the whole block of frozen soup into a pot to defrost directly on the stovetop when you're ready to eat it.
- The provided nutrition information does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. Feel free to calculate it yourself using this calculator or by adding the recipe to Yummly.