Roasted red bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, and garlic are the foundation of this simple and incredibly tasty soup. This soup is full of flavor and so easy to make requiring only 30 minutes from start to finish! A perfect side with sandwiches, salads, and more!
Soups are the signature of autumn. And a tasty way to hold on to the sweet flavors of summer. This roasted red pepper tomato basil soup is no exception.
The tomatoes in my garden have gone into full-blown panic mode. The air has suddenly shifted to cooler temperatures and night has crept in like a silent daylight thief making the days shorter and causing both myself and my tomatoes to feel somewhat resistant to the inevitable changes of the season. My tomatoes have realized it's now or never if they are going to pursue their full potential. And as for myself, I'm sitting with a giant bucket full of tomatoes wondering how in the world we're going to make use of this bounty before they spoil.
Cue this roasted red pepper tomato basil soup. It may be just the thing I need to release my strong grip on summer. Cuz I'm still holding on tight. And so are my tomato plants.
So who's ready to hunker down with a cozy blanket and a warm bowl of soup?!
🌟 Why you'll love this recipe
Think roasted red bell peppers with fresh tomatoes combined with sweet onions and garlic all turned into the most luxurious soup. Top it with fresh burrata and a big dollop of pesto and you may think you have just died and gone to soup heaven.
It's perfect for meal prepping, freezing for later, eating with grilled cheese sandwiches, and awesome at taking care of the rapidly overflowing abundance of tomatoes in the garden as summer begins to transition into fall.
And the best part?! It's SO eeeasy. Just 30 minutes from start to finish.
Are you ready to be a diva and make some tasty, homemade soup?!
🛒 Ingredients & suggestions
- Tomatoes - Tomatoes can vary in sweetness and water content. If you've grown your own tomatoes definitely use those. Garden fresh tomatoes always seem to taste sweeter than their store-bought counterparts. Otherwise store-bought Plum, Sungold, or San Marzano tomatoes are great options that work wonderfully in this soup.
- Sweet onions - Regular yellow onions will work as well.
- Heavy cream - Whole milk can be used in place of the cream. This substitution will slightly alter the flavor and creamy consistency of the soup but it will still be super tasty.
- Pesto (for stirring into the soup) - Homemade or store-bought, either will work. Do give this homemade pesto a try though. It literally takes 5 minutes to make and won't disappoint.
- Burrata (soup topping) - You can find this cheese in the specialty cheese section in most grocery stores. Grated mozzarella or Parmigiano Reggiano would also be delicious.
For a full list of ingredients and quantities see the recipe card at the end of this post.
🔪 Step-by-step instructions
Step 1: Grab a baking sheet and load it up with halved tomatoes and a couple of halved and seeded red bell peppers, quartered sweet onions, and a handful of garlic cloves (don't peel them).
Step 2: Give it all a healthy drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.
Step 3: Broil the veggies for 20 minutes or until they get that nice blackened, shrivel-ly skin on the outside. Sorry for saying shrivel-ly.
Step 4: Wrap the red peppers in a sheet of foil allowing them to steam for 5 minutes.
Step 5: Remove the outer skins from the tomatoes, the charred skins from the onions, and the peels from the garlic.
Step 6: Remove the charred skins from the red peppers. This is starting to sound like a bad Hannibal movie.
Step 7: Process everything in your favorite food processor or blender with a can of tomato paste (this adds a little more depth of flavor) and a little heavy cream (this adds a little more creamy dreaminess).
Step 8: Blend until the soup is smooth, creamy, and ready to be slurped.
Step 9: Transfer soup to a large pot to simmer allowing all of those tasty flavors to deepen and meld.
Step 10: Whatever you do, DO NOT skip out on stirring in a healthy dollop of fresh pesto and topping the soup with some burrata. Okay, you can skip the burrata if you must but the pesto is what takes it from a good soup to next level amazingly tasty soup. DO NOT SKIP THE PESTO. Pinky promise me.
👩🍳 Recipe tips
- Use the ripest and most delicious tomatoes you can find! I love using the tomatoes straight from my garden or from a nearby farmstand because they always taste sweeter than those at the grocery store. But if purchasing tomatoes from the store look for Plum, Sungold, or San Marzano tomatoes.
- While some high-speed blenders automatically puree all of the ingredients into a piping hot soup, still allow the soup to slowly simmer in a pot on the stove for about 10 minutes. Doing so really allows the flavors of the soup to deepen and become even tastier!
- Depending on how watery your tomatoes are you may need to allow the soup to simmer on the stove for a longer duration.
- If your tomatoes are more tart or acidic than you would prefer, add a little bit of sugar to the soup while it simmers on the stove to help sweeten it up a bit.
💭 Frequently asked questions
Three words...Grilled Cheese Sandwich. And don't feel like you need to limit it to just cheese and bread. Get a little fancy with your grilled cheese sandwich. Bacon Grilled Cheese, Pesto Grilled Cheese, Avocado Grilled Cheese, Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese. You get the point. Or serve your tomato soup with some crusty bread for dipping along with a tasty side salad.
Yes, you can! Some tomato soup recipes make mention of the milk curdling when added to tomato soup but if you follow the instructions for this recipe and add it at the same point as directed for the heavy cream it won't curdle.
1. Swap out the heavy cream for vegetable broth or full-fat coconut milk, adding more as needed to reach your desired soup consistency. This will affect the flavor and mouth-feel of the soup slightly but it will still be tasty!
2. Swap out the pesto for a dairy-free pesto (which you can do by either completely omitting the cheese in this basil pesto recipe or by using nutritional yeast in place of the parmesan and pecorino).
3. Substitute the burrata with a little nutritional yeast, cashew sour cream, or a drizzle of coconut yogurt.
Now repeat after me --> don't.skip.the.pesto.
Alright, fall time vibes. I think I'm starting to warm up to you. ♡
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Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Basil Soup
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: Serves 6
Roasted red bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, and garlic create the amazing flavor of this simple and incredibly tasty soup. This soup is full of flavor and so easy to make! A perfect side with sandwiches, salads, and more!
- 2 large red bell peppers, halved and seeded
- 2 medium sweet onions, quartered and outer peel removed
- 9 medium-sized tomatoes, cored and halved
- 10 garlic cloves, left unpeeled but slice off the bottom of each clove exposing the garlic clove inside
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
- ½ cup heavy cream
- a dollop of basil pesto, homemade or store-bought
- burrata cheese
- Preheat broiler (550°F).
- Place halved red peppers (cut side down), onions, halved tomatoes (cut side down), and garlic cloves on a baking sheet. Drizzle everything with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Place in oven to broil for 20 minutes.
- Remove baking sheet from boiler and wrap the red peppers in foil to allowing them to steam for about 5 minutes.
- In the meantime, remove the outer skins from the tomatoes. They should just slip right off. Also remove the outer layer of charred skin from the onions and the peels from garlic cloves. The garlic cloves should just push right out of the peel since we sliced the bottom of the clove off before roasting.
- Once the peppers have steamed, unwrap them from the foil, and when they are cool to touch remove the charred outer skin. If some of the skin can't be easily removed don't worry about it. A little bit of the skin left on is completely fine.
- Transfer the roasted peppers, onions, tomatoes, garlic, and juices from the baking sheet to a blender or food processor. Add the heavy cream and tomato paste. Puree until smooth. You may need to do this in batches. Or as an alternative, place everything in a large pot and use an immersion blender to puree.
- Once all the ingredients are pureed, place in a large pot and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat on the stove. Allow the soup to simmer for about 10 minutes giving time for the flavors to meld and deepen.
- To serve, ladle the soup among bowls and top with fresh burrata cheese, a dollop of pesto (don't skip the pesto!), and fresh ground pepper.
- Be amazed at your soup making skills.
The equipment section above contains affiliate links to products I use or recommend.
Let's meal prep! After the soup has finished cooking, cool the soup to room temp or allow it to cool in the refrigerator, then place in a tightly sealed, freezer-safe container, and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
More soup topping suggestions: fresh dill, fresh grated parmesan cheese, crumbled feta cheese, hemp seeds, gluten-free croutons, or fresh sliced cherry tomatoes. For dairy-free toppings try nutritional yeast, a dollop of cashew sour cream, or a drizzle of coconut yogurt.
Dairy-free version: I tested three versions of this soup by replacing the heavy cream with vegetable broth, almond milk, and full-fat coconut milk. I personally preferred the taste of the coconut milk over the almond milk. The vegetable broth version was also tasty, just less creamy. If you try one of these options keep in mind that each of these choices will change the flavor profile of this soup in comparison to using heavy cream. You'll also need to make a dairy-free pesto which you can do by either omitting the cheese in the provided basil pesto recipe or by using nutritional yeast in place of the parmesan and pecorino. You may also need to adjust the proportions of the pesto ingredients in order to reach a desired consistency and taste.
- Category: Soup
- Method: Broil, Simmer
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Gluten Free
Keywords: tomato soup, gluten-free recipe, tomato basil soup, fall recipe, soup recipe
Update Notes: This post was originally published in October 2018, but was re-published with updated step-by-step instructions, pictures, tips, and FAQs in October 2020.
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We LOVED this soup, very tasty and delicious and it tasted even better
the next day.
We will make this again for sure, since tomato soup is a staple in our house
Thank you Briggie! I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed it!
This is a delicious soup but I found it a bit too thick. I added some chicken stock (what I hand on hand) and it didn’t take away from the yummy flavour at all. The pesto takes it over the top.
Thank you for sharing Cynthia!
This soup is so good! The recipe is easy to make with late summer produce from the garden or farmers market. I highly recommend this recipe.
I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe! Thank you Emily!