I love making this colorful roasted red pepper soup on cold winter days. With simple steps and nourishing flavor, it's a weeknight go-to.
This roasted red pepper soup recipe is light and nourishing, yet creamy and delicious – just the thing if you ate too many cookies this weekend. Plus, I think the red pepper soup and green herbs look so festive! If you haven’t gotten around to decorating a tree this year (or if you’re tired of decorating cookies), you can decorate your soup! 🙂
Roasted Red Pepper Soup Recipe Ingredients
Because red bell peppers aren’t in season, I use jarred roasted red peppers, which are a super convenient pantry ingredient. If you’re making this soup in the summer or fall, though, go ahead and roast your own! Fresh carrots, fennel, and thyme round out the tangy flavor of the peppers. Cannellini beans add creaminess to the soup without heavy cream or nuts, and balsamic vinegar rounds out the rich flavor.
This roasted red pepper soup recipe is an old favorite – it’s on page 203 of our first cookbook which (shameless plug!) makes a great gift. I made just a few tweaks to the original recipe, which are listed below. As a contrast to the smooth texture of this soup, I added chopped roasted red peppers and extra herbs. It’s a small detail, but the chunky diced peppers give it a nice texture – a few croutons or roasted chickpeas on top would be a fun addition too, for crunch!
How to Make Roasted Red Pepper Soup
This roasted red pepper soup recipe is super simple. To start, sauté the onion, fennel, garlic, carrots & thyme until they soften. Then, add broth, the peppers, a splash of balsamic, and the cannellini beans, and simmer for 20 minutes or so, to allow the flavors to develop and the carrots to become fully tender. You’re ready to blend!
This is what the soup looks like before you blend it:
Give it a whirl, then, voila… you have creamy orange-red Christmas soup (or soup for whatever holiday you celebrate).
Like most soups, you can make this one ahead and keep it in the fridge for a few days – the flavors just get better and better. It also freezes well, so make it ahead of time and pack it up for weekday lunches! (See this post for more make-ahead lunch ideas & tips!)
If you’re serving this soup as part of a larger meal, try pairing it with crusty bread, homemade focaccia, or a cozy pasta. Any of these would be great choices:
- Herb & Garlic Mushroom Pasta
- Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Kale
- Butternut Squash, Walnut & Sage Pasta
- Orecchiette Pasta with Broccoli & Kale
- Homemade Mac and Cheese
- Vegan Mac and Cheese
It’d also be great with a grilled cheese sandwich or a hearty salad like this kale salad or this roasted beet salad.
More Favorite Soup Recipes
If you love this roasted red pepper soup, try one of these healthy soup recipes next:
- Many-Veggie Vegetable Soup
- Best Lentil Soup
- Butternut Squash Soup
- Easy Vegetarian Chili
- French Onion Soup
- Or any of these 25 Best Soup Recipes!
Roasted Red Pepper Soup
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 small fennel bulb, coarsely chopped
- 3 medium carrots, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 jarred roasted red bell peppers
- 1/4 cup cooked cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
For Serving (all optional):
- 1 jarred roasted red pepper, diced
- Finely chopped parsley
- Pinches of red pepper flakes
- Warm baguette
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and pinches of salt and pepper and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, fennel, carrots, and thyme leaves. Stir and cook until the carrots begin to soften, about 10 minutes.
- Add the balsamic vinegar, red peppers, beans, tomato paste, broth, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Simmer until the carrots are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Add the simmered soup to a high-speed blender with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and puree until smooth. Season with more salt and pepper, to taste. If you would like more punch, add a few more drops of balsamic, to taste. If you would like a little heat, add 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes.
- Serve with generous drizzles of olive oil, desired garnishes, and warm baguette.
I’ve been making soup all week with my gf, and this one is by far the worst.
I love balsamic vinegar, but it’s really overpowering in this recipe, and there’s a lack of roasted red pepper flavour.
Maybe because I used aged balsamic of Modena? I can’t imagine that this is how the soup should taste.
Hi Rob, if the aged balsamic is very thick or syrupy, it might be overpowering. I’m sorry you didn’t like the soup.
I made this for my boss. He couldn’t have beans so I substituted a potato. It was thick & so flavorful. I sprinkled some chili flakes for an added kick. He loved it!! Thank You
Really, REALLY loved this soup. I used fresh peppers and roasted them myself, which added an extra step but I really enjoy the peeling process. This soup has so much flavor. The fresh fennel truly adds such a special element to the soup. The flavors are rich, bright, hearty, soothing and warm with a bit of a punch from the balsamic (which absolutely took this soup over the mark). 10/10 from me! Thanks for sharing!
You knocked this out of the ballpark! This is UHH-MAAAZING. I just finished making a pot. I was going to give all of it to a neighbor recovering from surgery …. but I just had to eat a bowl right away, and save a small cup for tomorrow’s lunch. She’ll get the rest. I fixed it just as you have given to us in the recipe. This one’s a keeper!
Sounds so good! Is there something I could use as a substitute for the cannellini beans? My bf is allergic to beans. Thanks!
you could leave them out – they add just a bit of creaminess, but there are so few, it’ll be fine without them!
Amazing soup- my husband and I absolutely loved it. Extremely flavorful, healthy and seems low in FODMAP too!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
This soup was seriously excellent! I had to chop my veggies a little smaller so I could use an immersion blender, but it was well worth the extra effort. This will be going in the regular soup roation for sure.
Hi Kat, I’m glad you loved the soup! Thanks for the tip about the immersion blender. xo, Jeanine
I was scrolling through the comments, looking for some tips for immersion blender use. Totally makes sense!
Was delicious! I might’ve added more beans than the recipe called for; I used the entire 10.5 oz can. Made for a nice, hearty soup, perfect with a grilled cheese panini.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
Me too on the beans, figured why not. 😊
Super delicious and healthy recipe – absolutely loved it, as did the bf! Made a huge pot-ful and had leftovers for a couple of days. The perfect antidote to cold winter evenings. Thanks for another delicious and beautiful recipe!
What a perfect recipe for the cold winter days! I love the combination of roasted pepper and carrots so I’m sure this tastes amazing. Thanks for sharing the recipe and the mouthwatering photos! 🙂
Hi, do your jarred red peppers contain vinegar in the liquid they’re preserved in? The ones I have in my pantry contain white vinegar and I don’t know if they will be good.
Hi Natalia, the ingredients on mine are: water, sea salt, and citric acid (These are the ones I get: https://amzn.to/2C8X52l). If they’re preserved in vinegar, it will change the flavor of the soup, I can’t say how exactly without trying it myself. You could try using them and omitting the balsamic vinegar from the recipe. Or you could add the balsamic at the end, just to taste, if you feel like the soup needs more zing. Hope that helps!
Yes thank you it’s very helpful! These peppers are not very acidic in taste, so I will give it a try. Pickles are very popular in Poland and red peppers are only preserved this way. Though they’re not very acidic in taste. Hope it will turn out great 🙂
It sounds like they’ll work just fine!
I always like cheese to go in or on the side of my soup. Is there a cheese you would recommend to go with this? Thank you! It looks so yummy and perfect for the weather!
Another reader said she topped hers with gruyere cheese and I really love that idea. Hope you enjoy the soup!
Do you think I could use fresh red peppers instead of jarred? If so, how many do you think I need?
Yep, you can roast fresh red peppers (blister them, cover in a bowl for 10 or so minutes, then peel the skins). I would use the same amount. Hope that helps!
So would that be three roasted bell peppers or three jars of roasted bell peppers? I was going to use fresh peppers but wasn’t sure exactly how many I should use.
Yes, use 3 small red peppers for the soup (plus a 4th if you would like diced roasted red pepper as a garnish). The jarred red peppers are kind of small, so if your peppers are very large, you could use 3 total instead of 4 total.
Mmmm, can’t wait to add this to my soup season rotation!
You said first cookbook in the post…does that mean you guys are working on another one?
Ha, I really let that one slip out, good catch :).
So funny you posted this today… after browsing through your book on a very rainy day yesterday, my boyfriend and I decided to try this recipe. We added a pinch of red pepper flakes at the end and then topped it with some Gruyere. We’ll definitely be making this again, thanks!
What a coincidence! I’m glad you loved the soup – I really love your Gruyere idea, I’m going to do that next time 🙂
Looks wonderful. Did you use unsalted or salted vegetable broth? And if you use salted broth wondering if unsalted could be used and additional salt added as necessary? Also how necessary is the tomato paste?(have to watch the tomatoes in my diet)
Hi Roxane, I used 365 brand vegetable broth that is salted. You can add salt to your liking, but I found that the 1/2 teaspoon salt was the perfect amount of seasoning. I think the tomato paste balances the red pepper flavor nicely, so I prefer this soup with it, but you can taste it before you add it if you like.
Thanks, I am sure it will taste better using the paste and perhaps that small of an amount won’t cause me problems. Probably will do what you suggest and taste it before adding. Probably the hardest part for me of having to go to a low acid diet to manage GERD (medications didn’t work and had too many side effects) was eliminating tomatoes and tomato products from my diet.
Can I skip or substitute fresh fennel?
Hi Jill, I haven’t made this specific recipe without the fennel – it’s so delicious, there’s not a strong fennel flavor, I recommend giving it a try!
this is gorgeous lady! xoxo