Make this homemade tomato soup for National Soup Month by roasting and blending sweetened tomatoes and pepper together.
Well, here we are, friend, a new year of recipes and conversations. I hope your holidays were filled with family, friends, and bountiful tables. I enjoyed all of it! But I must confess I’m ready for a change. Enough with rich roasts, sauces, and sweets. I’m into simplifying things this month, from packing away all the holiday décor to redoing menus toward lighter fare.
Maybe it’s no wonder that National Soup Month happens to be January! Comforting, simple, nutritious, economical—a bowl of homemade soup checks all these boxes. We all have our favorite—several pollsters point to chicken noodle soup for most of us—I’ve always loved tomato soup. Growing up, it was canned tomato soup and a grilled cheese for many winter lunches. But this recipe for homemade Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup is far superior to the best packaged tomato soup. And I like serving it with a cheesy bagel topper, but more on that in a minute.
The other plus about this recipe is it’s perfect for one or two people. Yielding two generous servings, you can enjoy this for lunch for a couple of days or serve with a salad for a lighter dinner with a loved one. Most soup recipes make a big amount of soup that will require freezing leftovers or calculations for making less. But for my Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup, just six tomatoes and one sweet red pepper is all you’ll need for a nutritious, quick, economical, and delicious meal. Let’s get cooking!
To make Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup, which yields 2 servings, you’ll need these ingredients:
6 roma tomatoes
1 sweet red bell pepper
1 small yellow onion
4 cloves garlic
Sprigs of fresh thyme
Salt and crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon butter (optional)
Ideally, fresh thyme is the way to go, but my grocery store didn’t have any in the produce section. You can substitute dried herbs, including Italian seasoning. And if you want less of a spice kick, substitute cracked black pepper for the red pepper flakes. You also can use vegetable oil in this recipe.
Directions to make Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking tray with non-stick aluminum foil (this stuff is great). Drizzle lined tray with about a teaspoon of oil. Here’s a great trick for you: Season your pan with salt and pepper. This allows for better distribution of seasonings on the veggies.
Slice tomatoes in half lengthwise and place flesh side down on seasoned tray.
Clean pepper, removing pith and seeds, and cut into large chunks. Place on tray.
Peel garlic cloves. Place whole cloves under a tomato half; this allows the garlic to roast without burning (your welcome).
Drizzle and brush a little oil on top of veggies and do another sprinkle of salt to taste. Roast vegetables for 40 minutes.
While that’s happening, dice onion and cook in a saucepan with a drizzle of oil and pinch of salt. You want to just soften the onion until translucent. By cooking separately, we avoid the risk of onion burning in oven.
When the vegetable tray has cooled enough to handle, carefully pick up by the foil corners and transfer everything into a blender (including the fresh herb stems if you used these). Tighten the top to blender and start on a slow speed for a few seconds before fully blending. Remember hot liquid will expand some in a blender so use caution. I always throw a kitchen towel over the blender top for extra protection!
If you want to keep this a 100-percent vegan recipe, simply pour the pureed soup into bowls and enjoy. However, I transfer the soup to a pan with melting butter and stir to combine. This adds some richness to the soup. Another optional (but delicious) finish is stirring in a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar before serving.
Cheesy greasy bagels: a St. Louis history
As I mentioned in the outset, I like serving this soup with cheesy bagels. When I worked as a travel editor, I met a wonderful lady, Cynthia Frohlichstein, who was a frequent contributor to the magazine. In addition to being a world traveler, Cynthia is a children’s book author, and expert “connector” as she knows almost everyone in St. Louis! She’s been one of the most influential people in my life and is one of the most giving, thoughtful women I’ve known.
One of many memories of working together include the annual lunch she’d treat me to at Westwood Country Club. We’d catch up on projects, families, and other news over baskets of the restaurant’s famous bagels, or as Cynthia called them, “Cheesy Greasies.” They were so flipping delicious and addictive. Bagel halves slathered in butter and topped with Parmesan cheese—what’s not to love? Authors/bloggers Barbara Ballinger and Margaret Crane shared the recipe for these delightful bites with their readers.
Here’s my version. You’ll need:
Bagel thins (I use the Thomas brand)
Freshly grated Asiago cheese
Line a baking sheet with foil. Open each bagel thin and place open-faced on tray. Spread liberally with butter. Top each buttered bagel half with a small mound of grated cheese, covering the bagel. Broil on high for a minute or so, carefully watching the bagels to avoid burning. You’re going for melted and golden browned tops. Enjoy while warm!
This month, embrace a bowl of homemade soup. I hope you’ll try Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup. More soup recipes will be featured here in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, check out our Facebook page for more soup recipes and tips.
About the blog
Three Women in the Kitchen is an award-winning food blog offering today’s home cooks comforting, hearty recipes with a personal touch. The website also pays tribute to Deborah’s mother, Katie Reinhardt, and paternal grandmother, Dorothy Reinhardt (the “three women” in the kitchen). Whether you’re an experienced or a novice cook, you’ll find inspiration here to feed your families and warm your heart. Subscribe today so you won’t miss a single delicious detail.