Quick and easy roasted red pepper and basil soup recipe
One of the most popular recipes I've published on The Perfect Pantry features penne pasta tossed with red pepper pesto, made with roasted red peppers. With the young basil plants in my herb garden ready for their first big trim, it seemed the perfect time to adapt the some of the pesto flavors to a soup. I used a can of piquillo peppers, because I always have them in the pantry and because I think they have great richness. For this vegetarian soup, use any good quality store-bought roasted red peppers. And the best thing? No cooking involved.
Quick and easy roasted red pepper and basil soup
Serves 4-6 as a first course; can be doubled.
14 oz roasted red peppers (I like piquillo peppers) -- do not drain
1 tsp tomato paste
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
6-8 large basil leaves
1 tsp honey
1 tsp balsamic vinegar, or to taste
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
Fresh basil leaves or finely chopped cucumber, for garnish
Pour the peppers with the oil from the can or jar into a blender or food processor, and process for 15 seconds until the peppers break down. Add the tomato paste, garlic, basil and honey, and process until everything is combined and smooth. Add vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and blend for a few seconds to mix. The soup will be fairly thick. If you'd like a thinner soup, add a few tablespoons of water.
Serve the soup at room temperature, or chill until ready to serve. If you chill the soup, it will thicken, so stir well and add a little bit of water as needed.