A sweet velvety smooth roasted red pepper soup topped with freshly made crispy tangy za’atar croutons. A vibrant soup to make winter days brighter.
One of my favourite vegetables has to be red peppers! Raw, roasted, marinated, I adore eating them in so many different ways. There sweet flavour when roasted is what makes me eat more of them, especially when paired with a strong flavour for a contrast. This roasted red pepper soup, if eaten on its own is a bit on the sweet side. For this reason I add the tangy zesty fresh croutons, as they perfectly balance out the sweetness!
How to roast red peppers
In this recipe, I roast the red peppers with other vegetables for an easy roast. However, you can use ready bought jarred roasted red peppers, although they’re easy to make fresh at home, as I did!
If you want to make yourself the roasted red peppers, read along and don’t be intimidated as it’s one of the simplest things you can cook. To roast the red peppers in the oven, turn the oven to its highest temperature setting, lightly brush the peppers with oil and salt. Place the peppers in a parchment lined baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 30/40 minutes. Ideally use oil that has a high smoking point such as canola oil, sunflower oil or vegetable oil. Do not use olive oil as it will burn quickly. Turn frequently so that you get a uniform char on the pepper. You can also char the red peppers on a gas stove, place the pepper directly on the gas burner, turning frequently until all the skin is all nicely charred. We want the pepper’s skin to be black! Do not let the pepper on flames unattended! However, since in this recipe we are also roasting the onion and garlic, placing everything in the oven together is the quickest option.
Once roasted, and once you have a nice char on them, place the hot peppers in a bowl and cover with cling film or aluminium foil. Let them rest until cool. Gently remove the skins and the seeds from the inside of the pepper.
How to make Roasted Red Pepper soup
One of the easiest – with few ingredients – soup you can make! Start by roasting the red peppers, onion and garlic together. At the end of their cooking, prepare the vegetable stock with the tomato paste. Once everything is prepped combine them together and blend everything until smooth and creamy. Add more vegetable stock if you like your soup more loose. Serve the soup warm with croutons, fresh herbs and a generous drizzle of olive oil.
How to make Za’atar Croutons
Making croutons is relatively easy and makes good use of any bread you have leftover. This is a habit I started doing lately and it reduces food waste and ultimately the taste of homemade croutons is so much better than store bought ones. Basically, you can make croutons any flavour that you prefer, however, I particularly enjoy za’atar flavoured ones. Especially with the soup, the tangy za’atar taste balances wonderfully the sweet red pepper aroma.
To make croutons, ideally you use a day or two old leftover bread. Dice the bread to the size of your liking, you can either do it nicely with a knife or tear the bread with your hands. In a bowl, drizzle the bread with olive oil and the seasonings. Make sure that every crouton has a good covering! Bake the croutons in the oven for about 20 minutes at 190°C. Keep a close eye on them as cooking time might vary! This all depends on the type of bread used and the thickness of your croutons. Rotate halfway through the baking process so that there is an even browning on the crouton on all sides. Lately, I have been using the air fryer instead of the oven when I make a small quick batch! I simply bake them at 180°C for about 10 minutes, while flipping them halfway through as well.
How to serve this roasted red pepper soup?
I like to keep my soup simple with za’atar croutons, fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil. However, you can top up the soup with other delicious condiments. You can serve it with a comforting grilled cheese sandwich, a protein such as chicken, or crispy chickpeas!
For how long can the croutons be stored?
If stored properly croutons can last for about two weeks, although at my house they barely last a couple of days! Store them in an air tight container in a cool dry place, and they should stay all nice and crispy.
Can the soup be frozen?
Yes, like any other soup! You can either store it in the fridge if you are planning to eat it in the following 3 days after making it, or else freeze it. I like to freeze my soups in a ziploc bag by freezing them flat so that it saves me up some space in the freezer. This soup can stay in the freezer for not more than 3 months.
Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Za’atar Croutons
Roasted Red Pepper Soup
- 700 g red peppers
- 2 medium onions
- 1 whole garlic head
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- 500 ml vegetable stock
- a couple of fresh basil leaves
- salt & pepper to taste
- 50 g day old bread
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp za'atar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375°F or 190°C.
- Cut your bread either with your hands or with a knife into small equal pieces. Place in a bowl and toss with the olive oil and za'atar seasoning. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place the croutons on a parchment lined baking sheet. Making sure that they are spread out.
- Bake until the croutons are nice golden brown, turning halfway so that both sides of the crouton are all nice crispy and golden. The cooking time will vary according how big your croutons are. Usually they take about 15 minutes for medium sized ones. (Alternatively, bake them in an air fryer for about 10 minutes at 360°F or 180°C)
- Serve immediately, or store in air-tight container for about two weeks.
Roasted Red Pepper Soup
- Preheat the oven to 450°F or 230°C.
- Remove most of the outer peel of the garlic and cut off the top part of the head of the garlic. Drizzle the exposed garlic with the olive oil. Wrap in foil and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cut the onion into wedges and oil with the olive oil.
- Lightly oil the peppers with vegetable oil. Place everything on the baking sheet. Roast everything for about 30/40 minutes rotating half way until the peppers have a good amount of char marks. Once done, place the hot peppers in a bowl and cover with cling film or aluminium foil. Let them rest until cool. Gently remove the skins and the seeds from the inside of the pepper. Squeeze out the garlic.
- In a pot, warm up the vegetable stock with the tomato paste.
- When everything is ready, add the roasted vegetables to the stock with the basil leaves. Blend everything, either with an immersion blender or a normal one, until everything is nice, smooth and velvety. Season the soup to your liking.
- Bring the soup to light simmer. Serve with croutons on top, some fresh basil leaves and a generous drizzle of olive oil.
If you have any questions, feedback or comments on this recipe, please leave a comment below. Please also rate this recipe by double clicking on the stars below. If you did make this recipe, tag @apronandwhisk and hashtag #apronandwhisk, as I’m curious to see what you create!
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