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June 2, 2010

Quick and easy roasted red pepper and basil soup recipe

Roasted red pepper soup 

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.

Print recipe only.


Posted by: Jo Guerra | June 2, 2010 at 12:18 AM

Mmmm, yummy. Will have to try. I created a simple red pepper soup recipe, but this sounds great.

Posted by: Heidi | June 2, 2010 at 09:27 AM

My next door neighbor (to whom I supply pesto) just put a pot of basil on my front steps. How fortuitous! Now all I need is a jar of red peppers. Hadn't thought of using jarred ... Yum.

Posted by: Kalynskitchen | June 2, 2010 at 04:32 PM

Sounds delicious. I'm always looking for new ways to use fresh basil; love the flavor of it.

Posted by: Sandie {Inn Cuisine} | June 3, 2010 at 01:26 PM

I'm fascinated by this soup---never had anything like it, but am eager to try!

Posted by: Lydia | June 4, 2010 at 12:58 AM

Jo, how was your soup different from this one?

Heidi, red peppers in a jar are perfect for this dish, especially if you're in a hurry. And it sounds like you have a really nice neighbor!

Kalyn, this soup has a fresh taste and amazing color.

Sandie, it's different, and yet familiar. I think you'd like it.

Posted by: Amy O | June 4, 2010 at 09:57 PM

This is simply perfect timing! I was cleaning out/organizing my pantry in anticipation of taking photographs for your "perfect pantry" feature, and I came across a jar of roasted red peppers that I had completely forgotten. And now I know exactly what I'm going to do with them. Thank you!

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  • I'm Lydia Walshin, a longtime food writer who lives and cooks in a real log house. If I could, I'd eat Chinese noodles, grapes, ice cream and soup every day.
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