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roasted red pepper soup

January 4, 2010

Red Pepper Soup

This is the most unlikely of Christmas traditions and if you ask me how it started, I’d be hard pressed to tell you.  I think I made it as a starter for Thanksgiving one year and it ended up being introduced to Christmas dinner, was loved by all and is back every year now by special request.  Cheese fondue on Christmas eve and roasted red pepper soup on Christmas day.

The hardest part about this recipe is figuring out timing.  Serving more than one course at a holiday dinner with half a million other things going on is not easy.  This year though, I think it turned out quite well that everyone came to sit together as the turkey was finishing up.  By the time we finished the soup, the turkey came out of the oven to sit, giving us all a little time to “reset” our palates and recover from the heat that this recipe delivers.   It’s no secret that I love spicy, so here’s a warning, this recipe is quite spicy.  If you want a milder taste, cut down on the roasted red pepper flakes.  Or, just add some more coconut milk.  Both would result in a milder soup.  Next day’s soup is just as good and ever spicier.

While this soup may not be everyone’s cup of tea for the Christmas holiday it does make a great all around winter soup that’s easy to put together (not stocks required) and will clear up the stuffiest of noses (keep the Kleenex handy).

Roasted Red Pepper Soup
serves 8-10 people as a starter (with leftovers)


  • 6 red bell peppers, roasted or two 13-ounce cans roasted sweet red peppers
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions (2 medium onions generally does the trick for me)
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and left whole
  • 2 tsp roasted red pepper flakes (half of this for a milder soup)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups undrained tomatoes (16 oz)
  • 1 3/4 cps reduced-fat coconut milk (or whole fat, whatever)
  • 2 cups water


  1. If you’ve roasted fresh red peppers, set them aside in a tightly covered bowl to cool and then stem, seed, and peel them. If you’re using canned roasted red peppers, rinse them well in a colander and set aside to drain.
  2. In a covered non-reactive pot, heat oil (I used a dutch oven for this) on medium-high heat.
  3. Add onions, salt, pepper flakes, and garlic.  Sauté on medium heat for 15 minutes or until onions are soft and translucent.
  4. Remove the pot from heat and add canned tomatoes, red peppers, coconut milk, and water.
  5. Mix together so ingredients are fully integrated.
  6. Now, in batches, add the soup to a blender to mix all together.  An immersion blender works beautifully here as well since you can just throw it right into the pot.  If you have a dish towel to spare and are using a standing blender, you may want to put the towel under the cover to prevent hot soup from spilling out the top.
  7. Once mixed, your soup will go from a light pink to a bright red.
  8. Once the soup is fully mixed, add back to the soup pot and reheat content on a low heat.  The longer you leave it on the flame the richer the flavors.  Alternatively, feel free to make this soup the night before serving and simply reheat in soup pot before serving.
  9. Serve on it own or with a small dollop of crème fraiche.
14 Comments leave one →
  1. January 6, 2010 4:39 pm

    Every family has it’s holiday traditions, right? In my family, people always break out the “after 8” mints. No one really knows who’s to blame, but there they are, every year, unfailingly. This soup looks fabulous, by the way, I might just have to try it.

    -Kenzi, from

    • January 6, 2010 7:08 pm

      Kenzi- That’s quite funny. I was actually just talking to a colleague who considers “after 8” mints a holiday treat. What a coincidence.

      I’m glad you liked the recipe. You’ll have to keep me posted on how it goes it you do.

  2. JoshAM permalink
    January 17, 2010 7:19 am

    The recipe mentions adding the onions, but there are no onions on the ingredient list. Can you clarify?

    • January 17, 2010 10:08 am

      Josh-Thank you so much for pointing that out! I’ve updated the recipe, but you should use two cups of chopped onions. I find that 2 medium sized onions generally yield that amount for me.

  3. Sandi permalink
    November 4, 2010 2:36 pm

    I made your roasted red pepper soup yesterday. I loved it so much I had it for lunch, dinner and breakfast this morning. Every fall I go soup crazy and this recipe got things off to a great start. Its my new favorite soup recipe.

    Today, I’m looking for a mushroom soup recipe.

    • November 7, 2010 2:41 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to enjoying a cup before Thanksgiving dinner in just a few weeks.

  4. December 23, 2010 9:25 am

    I Wanted to say that I tried this out for thanksgiving and it rocked our socks out! Very tasty, though I had to take down the spice factor a bit for the folks. I’m making it again for Christmas dinner.

    I like to do weird things with my food, so I’m told, and instead of creme fraiche, I added whole cranberry sauce. It complements this soup perfectly and somehow enhances the spiciness with an underlying sweetness. The tastiness of this took me by surprise. I reckon the cranberries could be blended right into the mixture, but that’s a tale for another telling.

    Thanks for the great recipe!

    • December 23, 2010 10:39 am

      Nice! What an interesting addition. I’ll have to give that a whirl sometime.

      Glad to hear that this soup has made it to your holiday roster as well. Merry Christmas!

  5. January 5, 2011 11:03 am

    I have the ingredients AND that Le Creuset pot, so we have a winner! One question- how do you get hot tomato soup out of a dish towel? I’m sticking with my immersion blender, I think…

    • January 5, 2011 11:48 am

      I generally just let it cool off and then run wash it in the sink with some detergent. To be honest, it’s a bit of a pain, so if you have an immersion blender, definitely stick with that. WAY easier. Hope you enjoy it!

  6. Pat Bowen permalink
    January 11, 2011 2:28 pm

    I have been looking for a great soup like this. It sounds wonderful. How easy would it be to can or freeze this soup?

    • January 11, 2011 5:42 pm

      This soup keeps exceptionally well, but a word of advice is that it does seem to get spicier the longer it keeps. I’m definitely no expert on canning, but I imagine this soup would be great for freezing and then just heating up again for easy and yummy leftovers. Perhaps a spicy take on grilled cheese and soup?

  7. Karla P permalink
    September 9, 2012 3:02 pm

    I recently had a soup similar to this one at a favorite little hole-in-the-wall restaurant. It was garnished with just a touch of lightly toasted coconut. Absolutely delicious! I was tempted to lick the bowl. I am anxious to try this tomorrow to make it a lunch favorite (I freeze in individual containers, grab and go in the morning – no spillage in transport since it is frozen – and by lunch time it is unthawed). Thanks so much!


  1. a kc thanksgiving « the klutzy chef

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