Califonia Bountiful
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Spicy roasted red pepper and tomato soup

Spicy roasted red pepper and tomato soup


2 red bell peppers, rinsed, stemmed, seeded and halved
4 to 5 tbsp. olive oil
3 to 4 large tomatoes (heirloom or homegrown will lend the best flavor), chopped
6 cloves garlic
1 yellow onion, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 cups chicken broth (homemade preferred), plus extra if needed
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (more or less to taste)

You can find many variations of roasted red pepper soups—some with tomatoes, some without. This was concocted using what was available in the kitchen and a little improvisation.


Preheat broiler. Drizzle olive oil over red pepper halves and place skin-side up in a baking pan. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat until the skins are black and blistered, about 8 minutes. Remove from pan; let cool, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes. Peel peppers, chop and place in a bowl, reserving any juices.

While peppers are cooling, reduce oven to 400 degrees. Using the same pan, drizzle tomatoes, garlic (don't worry about chopping) and onion with olive oil; stir to blend and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes; stir and roast another 15 minutes or until skin starts to separate from the tomato and the garlic is soft and light brown.

In a medium, heavy pot, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat, add chopped red peppers, roasted tomato mixture, chicken broth and red pepper flakes. (You can substitute a mild vegetable broth to make this soup vegetarian.) Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

Use an immersion hand blender to purée the soup. If the consistency is too thick, add small amounts of extra broth. Add Parmesan cheese and stir to blend. Wonderful with toasted garlic bread, salad and a glass of wine.

Serves 4