The best Italian roasted red pepper and tomato soup from scratch made with smoked paprika and finished with a luscious drizzle of parsley or basil pesto, garnished with rustic chunks of roasted peppers and toasted pine nuts.
Here’s How to Jazz it Up:
An easy, healthy, roasted red pepper tomato soup drizzled with swirls of parsley pesto, loaded with flavor and beautiful rustic textures and smoky flavors.
- 1/2 yellow onion -diced
- 4 cloves garlic -thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 5 bell peppers (you can substitute with the jarred roasted variety))
- 28 oz canned whole San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 bay leaf
- pinch sea salt + more to taste
- 1 splash red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes + more
- 2 1/2 cups filtered water
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (for garnish)
- 1/2 bunch flat leaf Italian parsley or basil leaves (picked through)
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup pine nuts -toasted
- 2 cloves garlic -grated
- zest from 1 small lemon
- a good squeeze of lemon juice
- 1 pinch sea salt (to taste)
Roast the bell peppers on a hot cast iron plate until charred all over. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap until cool enough to handle. Peel and discard the skins and the core.
Reserve one of the roasted peppers and tear it into rustic pieces. Set aside. Puree the rest in a small food processor with a splash of olive oil and a splash of red wine vinegar until a chunky sauce forms. Set aside.
Heat up 3 tbsp of the olive oil in an enameled cast iron pot on medium low flame. Sauté the onion with a pinch of sea salt until softened and begins to get a little color. Add the red pepper flakes, bay leaf and garlic and sauté an additional minute making sure not to burn the garlic. Stir in the purred roasted peppers and smoked paprika.
Transfer the canned tomatoes to a bowl and using your hands crush them into rustic chunks and add them to the soup pot. Stir and pour in the water. Bring to a gentle simmer and partially cover with a lid.
Allow the soup to cook gently for about 45 minutes until the flavors have married and desired consistency is achieved. Adjust seasonings to your taste with sea salt. Serve hot with the reserved pepper pieces and drizzles of pesto. Garnish with the toasted pine nuts, fresh parsley and basil.
Discard the tough stems from the parsley and add the top leaves to a bowl of a small food processor. Add the pine nuts, garlic and oil together with a pinch of sea salt and process until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the lemon zest and juice. Adjust taste and texture to your preference with more lemon juice and olive oil.