This soup is the absolute business. Vegan, gluten-free and Whole 30 compliant, thick and warming with complex smoky flavors, it just begs to be paired with good crusty bread for dipping.
It is, FYI, absolutely awesome with some crusty vegan soda bread for dipping. It’s not the quickest recipe, as you need to roast the main ingredients, but it’s so worth it.
It is, however, a really easy recipe you just need an oven and a blender for. I’m sure everyone is familiar with roasted red pepper soup, which is nice, but lacks a bit of depth. Try this version and you’ll never go back.
Where did I get the idea for this soup?
I was never really into red pepper soup, until about five and a half years ago. Handsome Husband and I were over in Ireland for our wedding, with less than a week to go.
As part of our package, a tasting was included for the wedding menu, but we lived in Madrid and couldn’t attend. Instead, the hotel we had booked the ceremony and celebrations with (the beautiful Clontarf Castle Hotel) offered us a free meal in one of their restaurants. We picked the beautifully decorated Fahrenheit.
It was September, and Autumn had already come to Dublin. It was wet, cold and windy, just miserable. It was that particularly contrary Irish rain, you know, the one that comes at you diagonally, which umbrellas are useless against?
By the time we arrived, we were soaked through and chilled to the bone. The hotel was toasty warm and the service in the beautiful restaurant amazing. For starters, I was recommended the red pepper fig soup and I was so glad I ordered it.
It was, and is, the best soup I’ve ever had in my life. My husband is allergic to figs so sadly he couldn’t try it. The rest of the meal was equally fabulous, and my husband, who is the least complimentary eater ever, couldn’t stop raving about the food. I highly recommend a visit to Fahrenheit if you’re ever in Dublin.
Afterward, I couldn’t stop thinking about the soup. I had to have it. I used pears instead of figs to sweeten the soup so my allergic husband could also enjoy it. And also, because I later discovered the relationship between figs and wasps (GROSS).
Substitute apples for the pears if you are stuck, or if you don’t particularly like pears. Full disclosure, I don’t love the graininess of pears, so if I’m making this for myself I always use apples instead of pears.
How to make this easy red pepper tomato pear soup
I roast nearly everything – except the red peppers, I’m contrary like that – hate skinning peppers, so this is one situation where I recommend using the premade canned or bottled kind.
Roasting the other vegetables really contributes to the flavor and gives this soup much more depth. Sweet and smoky, this really sticks to your ribs.
I’m am all for toying and experimenting with recipes, but please do not substitute the smoked or spicy paprika with sweet paprika – it just won’t work. Also, sweet paprika is the worst weakest claggiest tasting spice ever and should only be used in Paprikash, and Peri Peri sauce.
In an oven that has been preheated to 220C/ 200C Fan (430F/395F Fan), pop all the items for roasting (cherry tomatoes, onions, pears, garlic cloves)into a sheet pan which has been lined with aluminum foil and then baking paper.
The baking paper will make sure nothing sticks, and the aluminum foil layer will make sure no juices escape and burn on the pan (less clean up!).
Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil over everything and use your hands to get in there and make sure everything is coated. The cherry tomatoes can be whole, slice the onions and pears in half without peeling and place face down, and scatter the garlic cloves throughout (don’t peel them).
It’s much easier to remove the onion, pear and garlic skins after roasting and they prevent any tough layers forming on the fruit and vegetables.
Roast for 20-25 minutes, using the onions as a barometer – they should be very soft. In the meantime prep the remaining ingredients by decanting the roasted jarred peppers (rinsed), paprika, cayenne, stock cube, salt, and almonds (I just use packaged pre-ground almonds to make it really smooth) into a blender or food processor, then add into a big pot.
When the roasted fruit and veg are ready, take them out and leave them to cool enough until you can safely handle them. Squeeze out the baked onion into the blender, chop off the end of the garlic cloves and do the same.
I peel the baked pears as well and add them in sans seeds to get the soup really smooth. Finally, dump in the cherry tomatoes and any pan juices and whizz it up. Depending on the size of your blender you may need to do this into batches.
Decant into the pot, add 1.5 cups of water (360ml) and heat until serving temperature. Serve with lots of freshly cracked black pepper and crusty bread. This soup freezes very well and will keep in the fridge for 5 days, I regularly double it up when making it.
Let me know in the comments below if you tried this, and if you do make it please take a photo and tag me on Instagram (@the_fiery_vegetarian). If you enjoyed this recipe you might want to take a look at other recent posts:
- Easy Herbed Garlic Focaccia Bread with Bruschetta Dip
- Easy One-hour Vegan Goat Cheese
- Epic Vegan Christmas Dinner Recipes
- Vegan Traditional Irish Soda Bread
- Spicy Indian Tomato Soup
- 300 g roasted red peppers
- 250 g cherry tomatoes
- 2 onions
- 2 pears, halved and cored.
- 8 fat cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ⅛ cayenne
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 stock cube
- ¼ tsp salt
- 25 g ground almonds
- 1.5 cups water
- Fresh cracked black pepper to serve
- Heat the oven to 200c fan/220c and line a baking tray with parchment. Chuck the cherry tomatoes, the garlic cloves,two onions cut in half (don’t remove the skins) and the pears onto it, cut side down for onions and pears.
- If you have both the time and the inclination you can also pop in some peppers for roasting, but I don’t bother as otherwise I’d have to wait for them to cool down, and peel them (I just use jarred peppers). Drizzle the tablespoon of oil over the vegetables and use your hands to coat them all.
- Pop in the oven for 20-25 minutes until roasted properly - check the onions to test this. They should be browned on the outside and creamy on the inside.
- Leave to cool for a few minutes. Then pull the skins off the onions. Cut one end off each garlic clove and squeeze out the insides. Peeling the pears is optional, although I do as it makes the soup smoother. Add all the roasted goodness to a blender, along with all the other ingredients (spices, stock cube, drained jarred roasted peppers, ground almonds) except the water and blend until smooth. You may have to puree in batches if your blender isn’t big enough.
- Transfer the puree to a large pot and add in the water, stirring well. Heat to your desired temperature and serve.
Amount Per Serving Calories 227 Total Fat 11g Saturated Fat 1g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 9g Cholesterol 2mg Sodium 285mg Carbohydrates 33g Net Carbohydrates 0g Fiber 8g Sugar 17g Sugar Alcohols 0g Protein 5g