Vegan Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

As I look out onto a beautiful winter day in Chicago, I remember that this picture perfect scene is misleading.  You see I am all cozied up inside with the warmth of a fireplace and the heat from the oven, wearing a tank top and pajama bottoms, listening to music and drinking a steamy cup of café au lait.  And the sunshine that is filling the room would lead my mind to think that it might, just might, be warm outside. Eeeeh. Wrong answer, try again! It is in fact 25 degrees outside. Oh, yeah, baby-it’s cold outside.

So, the impending question is what to make on this lazy Sunday? This beautiful day that lends a lovely chill to the air…..and the answer is a (gluten free and dairy free!) creamy roasted red pepper and tomato soup, garnished with quinoa, rice “cheddar” cheese and basil. Alternatively you could certainly use any cooked grain you would like, wheat berries, barley, brown rice. And, of course, if dairy is not an issue for you feel free to use mozzarella cheese or cheddar cheese (just be sure to toss it in a teensy bit of flour before adding it to your soup).

And who knows, depending on how inspired I feel today I may also throw together a lovely  French Apple Tart (a la fabulous pastry chef Sara Moulton) to munch on with some tea for dessert-or an afternoon treat!

Vegan Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
Free of the Top 8
Serves 4
  • 3 red peppers, tops sliced off, cored and sliced in half lengthwise
  • 3/4 lb. plum tomatoes, slice in half lengthwise
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 ½ T. sweet smoky paprika
  • 3 cups good quality vegetables stock
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (or any other cooked grain or rice)
  • 1 cup rice cheddar cheese, (I happen to love a brand called Daiya)
  • ¼ cup sliced fresh basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
    1. Preheat oven to 400.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Lightly coat the peppers and sliced tomatoes with olive oil and place on the parchment paper, tomatoes cut side down. Roast until their skins are blistered and charred, about 20-30 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, preheat a medium to large stock pot.  Sauté the onions with a hearty glug of olive oil until they begin to sweat, you want them to be translucent not browned. 
    3. Add the sliced garlic and sauté 30 seconds until fragrant.  Add the smoky paprika and stir to coat the vegetables.  Pour in the vegetable stock, turn the heat down to low and place lid on top. 
    4. Once peppers and tomatoes are nicely charred, add them to the stock and continue simmering the soup another 20-30 minutes.
    5. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until nice and smooth (alternatively you may do this in batches in a blender. Just be careful that the steam doesn’t cause the top of your blender to pop off while in process!)
    6. Once all blended fold in the cooked quinoa, cheddar cheese and the basil.
Happy Healthy Eating! –kendra