Puréed Tomato and Red Pepper Soup

Tomato soup is always comforting. This soup tastes creamy, rich and smokey, but without the dairy. 


MAKES: 6 serving

2 red bell peppers, roasted
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
½ cup diced carrot
½ cup diced celery
Salt to taste
6 large garlic cloves, minced
1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes with juice
¼ cup tomato paste
2 sprigs fresh basil
Pinch of cinnamon
½ teaspoon sugar (optional)
1 ½ quarts Magic Mineral Broth
¼ cup rice, preferably a medium grain rice like arborio
Freshly ground pepper

Garlic croutons (toast thin slices of bread, rub with a cut clove of garlic, and cut into squares)
Freshly grated Parmesan
Slivered fresh basil leaves


Roast the peppers, allow to cool in a covered bowl, then peel, seed and dice. Set aside.

Tip: for easy roasting, brush with olive oil and roast on the grill until the skins are black.

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes, and add the carrot and celery and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender and fragrant, about 5 more minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Add the tomatoes with their liquid, the tomato paste, basil sprigs, cinnamon, sugar if using, and salt to taste. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have cooked down slightly and smell fragrant, about 10 minutes.

Add the diced roasted peppers, the stock or water, rice, and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes, stirring from time to time. Season with freshly ground pepper, taste and adjust salt. Remove the basil sprigs.

Using a hand blender, purée the soup, or use a blender and purée in batches, being careful to pull a dish towel down over the top and not to cover tightly with the blender lid, then return to the pot and heat through. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve topped with croutons,  parmesan cheese, and/or slivered basil.

STORAGE: This will keep for about 3 days in the refrigerator and can be frozen.

Adapted from one of Martha Rose Shulman's many fine recipes

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