Chunky Tomato-Red Pepper Soup

We are nearing the end of tomato season in our garden, but still have plants producing, just a little slowly.  I wanted to make some tomato soup, but my kids have never been excited for plain tomato soup.  In fact, there may have been some weeping last time we had tomato soup.  Recently I was flipping through the Oct 2014 issue of Country Living, I saw this recipe that looked better than your average tomato soup.  So, I made it, but of course, modified to fit our preference and used fresh tomatoes.

chunky tomato-red pepper soup by

This soup was awesome, and was pretty quick and easy to make, and used up some end-of-the-year-ugly tomatoes.  #winning

Chunky Tomato-Red Pepper Soup [Adapted from Oct 2014 Country Living]

:: 2 tablespoons of oil or butter

:: 2 medium red bell peppers

:: 1 medium sweet onion, chopped

:: 2 garlic cloves, minced

:: 2 tablespoons of tomato pate

:: 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

:: about 12-14 home grown small/medium sized tomatoes, scalded and peeled…mix and match {I used Italian Plum, heirloom, and a traditional beefsteak.  They were all 100% ugly and on the smallish side}.  Substitute 28oz can whole peeled plum tomatoes with basil if garden-fresh are not available

:: 1 1/2 cups chicken broth (we used home-made stock, but if you buy at the store I strongly recommend Kitchen Basics…yellow container)

:: 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of sugar (depending on taste)

:: 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt

:: 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper

:: 1/3 cup of half and half {original called for heavy cream.  I’m sure that would be good too, just trying to reduce saturated fat and calories}

:: 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil


*Before starting make sure your tomatoes are peeled.  If you’ve never peeled a tomato, it’s not hard, here are directions

1.) Saute peppers and onion in a large Dutch oven oil over medium-high heat 10 minutes until golden and tender.  Stir in garlic, t. paste in , & smoked paprika and cook, stirring constantly (garlic burns easily), 1 minute.  Stir in tomatoes, broth, sugar, salt & pepper.

2.) Crush tomatoes into chunks with back of a spoon.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer 15 minutes.  Can simmer very low for an hour or two if necessary (I left at this point and went and taught Jazzercise).

3).  Stir in half and half and fresh basil, adjust seasonings as needed.

Serve with crusty bread, grilled cheese, or the best suggestion was from Harrison (age six): “Mom, this would be really good with some cheese tortellini!”  He’s right.  It would be perfect with those.  If you wanted to add them, you’d add with cream/basil (last step).  You would want to increase the broth amount to adjust for the liquid the pasta would soak up.

This was a thumbs up from everyone, including the baby.  I will definitely make it again with some more ugly tomatoes!!!  Thanks for the idea, CL!

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