The Simplest Weeknight Version of a Classic, Cozy Soup
A cozy bowl of soup was my go-to meal in college, especially since store-bought cartons of roasted red pepper soup were one of my favorite budget-friendly grocery store staples. I’ve always wanted to create a homemade version that rivaled the ease & flavor of my favorite pre-made soup – & this recipe is just as convenient & craveable!
This roasted red pepper soup recipe comes together using simple pantry staples like canned crushed tomatoes & jarred roasted red peppers. The addition of fresh herbs & aromatics helps create a ton of flavor in 25 minutes or less, while a splash of cream (or plant milk!) finishes the pot with irresistible creaminess. It’s perfectly silky & smooth, with just a subtle kiss of sweetness from blistery roasted red peppers. It somehow tastes like both a warm summer day & cozy winter night all at once, & I couldn’t love that more. 🥰
As tasty as it is, my favorite part about this roasted red pepper and tomato soup is that it’s SO easy to throw together. (That means a lot from the girl who’s eaten a lot of boxed roasted red pepper soup! 😉). This recipe is quick to whip up on even the laziest, low-energy weeknights & I guarantee you’ll be glad you did.
Roasted Red Pepper Soup Recipe Highlights
There’s so much to love about this roasted red pepper and tomato soup. It’s…
SERIOUSLY SO SIMPLE. This red pepper soup recipe has minimal prep (nearly zero chopping!) & uses convenient pantry staples like jarred roasted red peppers for ease. The whole pot comes together in less than 25 minutes – perfect for weeknights!
EASILY VEGAN & DAIRY-FREE. This roasted red pepper and tomato soup is naturally vegetarian, but it can also easily be made vegan & dairy-free by swapping cream for your favorite plant milk. The result is always 100% creamy & so delicious!
BUILT FOR DIPPING. A cozy bowl of roasted red pepper soup just begs to be served with a melty grilled cheese sandwich or a toasty slice of bread. Pretty much the world’s best comfort food duo!
A staple for a reason! ♡ Read on to learn more about how to make this Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Soup, or jump straight to the recipe & get cooking!
Nearly all the ingredients in this roasted red pepper soup are simple pantry staples that you probably already have in your kitchen.
Note: Full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.
To make it, you need…
- Tomatoes – Canned works great here! We love using crushed San Marzano-style tomatoes, but crushed fire-roasted tomatoes are also be fantastic. The concentrated flavor of tomato paste also adds a lot to the soup.
- Roasted red peppers – While you can definitely roast your own red peppers under the broiler or on the grill, we prefer using jarred peppers here for ease. Our favorite roasted red peppers are from DeLallo – they have the best smoky-sweet flavor!
- Aromatics – Namely, yellow onion, carrot, & garlic – soup season staples!
- Fresh herbs – Chopped basil & thyme infuse the roasted red pepper soup with fresh, herbaceous flavor. If dried herbs are most readily available to you, feel free to swap them in!
- Liquid ingredients – While you’ll want to use a good-quality vegetable stock or broth for the base of your roasted red pepper soup, an optional splash of dry white wine also complements the naturally sweet tomatoes & blistery red peppers with a bit of brightness. A final splash of heavy cream or milk gives the red pepper soup the ultimate creamy finish. Feel free to use your favorite unsweetened plant milk if you prefer a 100% vegan soup – more guidance below! If keeping your soup vegetarian isn’t a concern, feel free to use chicken broth or stock if that’s what you already have on hand.
Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Soup
This roasted red pepper soup recipe is naturally vegetarian but it’s also easily made vegan & dairy-free with one simple swap: use plant milk like oat or almond milk instead of dairy milk. Plant milk will still make the soup super creamy. I suggest using a mild variety, like unsweetened oat or almond milk. Coconut milk is another great option – just note that the coconutty flavor may come through in your red pepper soup.
How to Make EASY Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
It was really important to me that this creamy roasted red pepper soup be simple enough to throw together any night of the week. I wanted it to feel just as convenient & flavorful as my favorite pre-made soups. I think we nailed it – aside from some quick chopping, it’s pretty much a one-pot operation. So easy!
Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.
Cook the aromatics. Sauté the onion & carrot in your favorite soup pot until softened, then add the garlic & tomato paste at the end. Why? ⇢ These aromatics are the base of flavor for the whole pot of roasted red pepper soup. By softening & browning them, we intensify their flavor even more.
Build & simmer. Add the star ingredients – the roasted red peppers & crushed tomatoes – straight from the jar or can. Then finish with veggie stock & chopped herbs. White wine is optional but we love how it adds extra brightness. Let everything simmer for 15 minutes so the flavors meld together.
Blend the soup. This step gives roasted red pepper soup its classic smooth texture. Blending Tips! ⇢ Using an immersion blender is the easiest option, just be sure to blend with caution as the soup pot is very hot! If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can transfer the hot liquid to a stand blender & work in batches until it’s smooth.
Finish with cream or milk. Stir your milk of choice into the smooth soup & cook for only a few more minutes until it’s warmed through. Why? ⇢ Don’t cook dairy for too long or else it will curdle! This isn’t as much of a concern if you’re using plant milk but it still won’t take long.
What to Serve with Roasted Red Pepper Soup
Dinner’s ready in no time, right?! To serve, ladle the red pepper soup into individual bowls & finish with freshly cracked black pepper, red pepper flakes, & more chopped basil. A drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil never hurts either (use the good stuff!).
While we love a steaming bowl of soup all on its own, it also pairs naturally with a lot of other delicious comfort foods. If you want to make it a full-fledged meal then try serving your soup with…
- Grilled cheese, of course! Is there any combination more iconic than gooey grilled cheese dunked in roasted red pepper and tomato soup?! Definitely not. This Gooey Garlic Herb Mozzarella Grilled Cheese is my all-time favorite.
- Quick & easy mozzarella crostini, which we love to serve with our other Roasted Tomato Soup, too! They’re so fun to dunk! Lightly brush thick slices of bread with olive oil, toast in the oven for about 5 minutes, then flip & top with a little fresh mozzarella & finish with another 5 minute toast.
- Garlicky croutons. Toss some cubed bread into a pan with a little olive oil, salt & garlic powder, & let it toast up on a baking sheet to crispy golden-brown perfection. So simple, so yum.
- Shredded chicken. I love stirring some shredded chicken into a bowl of this soup! It’s not a vegetarian or vegan option, of course, but it is a super satisfying way to use up leftovers from meal prep or a rotisserie.
- A simple side salad tossed with our tangy All-Purpose Vinaigrette for a bit of freshness.
- Or even just a dunk or two of your favorite crusty bread. Or maybe 10 dunks – it’s too hard to resist! 😉
Make-Ahead & Storage Tips
This roasted red pepper soup recipe is great to make ahead of time since the red pepper flavor only gets better as it sits. One of my favorite moves during soup season is to prep a big pot of soup on Sunday or Monday for easy meals to enjoy throughout the week.
Storage & Reheating
How long does roasted red pepper soup last? ⇢ Leftover roasted red pepper and tomato soup will keep in the refrigerator for 5 days. Be sure to let the soup cool completely before transferring to an airtight container. Check the Recipe Notes, below, for more guidance!
Can you freeze roasted red pepper soup? ⇢ Yes – this recipe is super freezer-friendly! You can freeze the cooled red pepper soup in airtight freezer containers for up to 3 months. It’s one of the best easy dinners down the road! Chek the Recipe Notes, below, for full freezing & thawing instructions.
I can’t wait for you to try this Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Soup! I love how this homemade version is just as convenient & delicious as store-bought options, & I think you will too.
If you do give it a try, be sure to let us know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. We LOVE seeing your PWWB creations! ♡ Happy cooking!Print
A cozy bowl of soup is one of my truest culinary loves, & this Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Soup is one of my go-to recipes.
Back in my college days, I was completely obsessed with store-bought cartons of roasted red pepper soup. Not only were they tasty & satisfying, they were also incredibly convenient & super budget-friendly. I’ve always wanted to create a homemade version that rivaled the ease & flavor of my favorite pre-made soup, & this recipe is the result.
While there’s a little chopping involved, the entire cooking process happens in one pot in a timeframe of 25 minutes or less. A couple of aromatic veggies lend a hand in building depth of flavor, but canned crushed tomatoes & jarred roasted red peppers are really the star here. Once it’s all simmered together, blend it smooth & finish it with a luxurious splash of cream (or plant milk!) to create irresistible creaminess.
Be sure to check the Recipe Notes, below, for meal prep & freezer instructions, & the blog post, above, for some pairing suggestions. I have a feeling you’re going to love this cozy soup just as much as we do! Happy cooking! ♡
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- optional: 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves & tender stems
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or generous pinch dried thyme)
- one 14-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained
- one 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups vegetable stock or broth
- optional: ½ cup dry, unaoked white wine
- 2 cups heavy cream, milk, or unsweetened plant milk of choice (almond, oat milk, etc.)
- kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
- Cook the aromatics: Add the olive oil to a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven (at least 4-qt capacity) over medium heat. Once the oil is hot & shimmering, add the onion & carrots. Season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Cook, Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies have softened slightly, 5-6 minutes. Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, & crushed red pepper (if using). Cook 1-2 minutes longer, until the tomato paste browns & the garlic is fragrant.
- Build & simmer the roasted red pepper soup: Add the basil, thyme, roasted red bell peppers, crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth, & wine (if using) to the pot, stirring to combine. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to low to maintain a gentle & steady simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes, until the veggies are completely tender.
- Blend: Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth & creamy, or to your desired consistency. Alternatively, you can also carefully transfer the soup into a stand blender. If so, remember to blend with caution. Work in batches to ensure the blender jar is never more than ⅔ full & be sure to remove the cap from the center of the lid. Place a thick kitchen towel over the hole & securely hold it in place as you blend the soup. Return the soup to the pot.
- Finishing touches: Pour the cream, milk, or plant milk of choice into the soup. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the soup is warmed through. Taste & season with additional salt & ground black pepper as desired.
- Serve immediately, ladling the ladling the soup into individual bowls & top with freshly cracked black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, & fresh basil leaves as desired. A piece of crusty bread never hurts, either. Enjoy!
- Ingredient Notes:
- White wine: The addition of white wine helps create complex flavor in this roasted red pepper soup despite a simple ingredients list & short simmer. Dry, unoaked white wines work best – I often cook with Pinot Grigio. Wine substitutes ⇢ If you do not have white wine on hand, you can substitute with dry vermouth for this recipe. If you prefer not to cook with alcohol, substitute with an equal amount of vegetable stock/broth with a splash of apple cider vinegar whisked into it.
- Milk: If keeping your roasted red pepper soup dairy-free or vegan is not a concern, feel free to use heavy cream, half & half, or milk for amazing creamy texture. If you prefer to use dairy-free milk, opt for a mild, unsweetened version – e.g. unsweetened almond milk is great, coconut milk might have too strong of a flavor.
- Storage & Reheating: Roasted red pepper soup is incredibly make-ahead friendly – it stores so well & it’s one of those things that gets even better as it sits & its flavors meld together. Transfer the cooled soup to an airtight container & store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat the soup on the stovetop or in the microwave until warmed through.
- Freezing: This roasted red peppers soup is also very freezer-friendly! To freeze, transfer cooled soup to an airtight freezer container. (These are my absolute favorite!) Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight & reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave until warmed through.
- 10-Minute Meal Prep: Nearly all of the active prep work for this roasted red pepper soup recipe comes from prepping the veggies – dicing the onion & carrots. Take care of this in advance & store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It takes 10 minutes, tops, & with the prep work done, you can jump straight into cooking at dinnertime!
Keywords: Vegetarian, Vegan, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy, Easy Soup Recipe, Healthy Soup Recipe
Recipe by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Step-by-Step Photography by KJ & Company, Kate Poskochil