I had the idea for this bell pepper soup recipe last week as I came across a Spanish recipe for a cold bell pepper and white bean soup from Spain on a Fork. I absolutely LOVE roasted bell peppers. They are sweet, low calorie, and a chockful of vitamins. My husband’s absolute favorite dip is muhammara, which is made of roasted bell peppers, walnuts and pomegranate molasses.
So the idea came to me to make a soup reminiscent of muhammara. The result exceeded my expectations. It’s positively a-ma-zing!
- Bell peppers. Red are best in this recipe, but orange would work nicely too.
- Olive oil. Extra virgin, as usual. Save a bit to drizzle on your bowl for extra richness.
- Garlic. The base of all things worth eating.
- Walnuts. They provide a nice nutty flavor and are a good source of Omega 3’s.
- White beans. My sneaky way of adding beans to our diet… as other household members that shall not be named are not big fans of beans… I used cannellini beans as they have a thin skin and a smooth, silky interior. Great northern beans would be a good substitute.
- Vegetable broth. Use a good quality low sodium broth, or my favorite dehydrated broth from Seitenbacher that is one of my pantry staples.
- Pomegranate molasses. This syrup of boiled pomegranate juice is most commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisine. It has an intense sweet-and-sour flavor that is often compared to balsamic but is truly unique. If you don’t have any in your pantry, I highly recommend seeking it out. Look for it in a well-stocked grocery store, a Middle Eastern market, or online.
You may use jarred roasted red peppers in this recipe, but I highly recommend you roast the peppers yourself. It can be done in advance, even 2 to 3 days ahead. If you use jarred peppers, omit the salt in the recipe and taste before seasoning, as they generally contain a lot of sodium.
- Roasting the bell peppers. This takes about 40 to 45 minutes in the oven. You need to rotate them regularly so they brown evenly on all sides. I find that giving them a first turn after 18 minutes, then 2 more turns every 7 to 8 minutes is just about perfect. Once roasted, you need to let them “steam” and cool down in a covered bowl before you remove the seeds and skin. Make sure you allow enough time for that so you don’t burn your little fingers…
- Putting the soup together. Once the peppers are ready, the rest is a breeze. So, really, if you use jarred peppers this soup can come together in 15 minutes. All you have to do is sauté garlic and walnuts in olive oil, add all other ingredients and let everything warm up together. Then a blitz with an immersion blender, et voila!
Other recipes to try:
Butternut squash red lentil soup
Bell pepper soup recipe
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces
- 4 red bell peppers
- 15 oz cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
Roasted bell peppers
- Heat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the bell peppers on it.
- Start by roasting 18 minutes, then rotate each bell pepper using tongs so that the opposite side lays against the baking sheet. Continue roasting 8 minutes. Flip them again to another side. Roast another 7 minutes. Rotate once more and roast 7 minutes. Total time should be about 40 minutes.
- Check to make sure the peppers have fully roasted. The skin should be charred, and the peppers slightly collapsed. If they don’t look ready, let them roast a few more minutes.
- Remove from the oven, place the peppers in a bowl and cover tightly to let them "steam", When cool enough to handle, remove the stems, seeds and skins and discard. Reserve the flesh to use in the soup.
- Heat cast iron Dutch oven over medium high heat.
- Add 2 tbsp olive oil, minced garlic and walnut pieces. Cook 1 minute, stirring to prevent burning.
- Add bell peppers, beans, vegetable broth, salt and pomegranate molasses. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer 15 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, and blend with an immersion blender. If using a food processor, process carefully in batches.
- Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and garnish of choice.
I love it.
Sam’s Club sells 6 peppers for $6 😉 The downside is, you get 2 red, 2 orange, 2 yellow. So my soup was a bit browner than yours.
I substituted for the pom molasses. I used cranberry sauce (leftover from Thanksgiving). I can’t judge the relative effect of course, but my soup tastes great, so I’ll keep this as a substitute idea for future.
I also noted the text of the recipe doesn’t mention adding the salt in. I know you recommended leaving it out if using canned/jarred peppers… I used fresh, but I’m sodium sensitive, so left it out anyhow.
With my 6 peppers I also used a full box of veggie broth, or 4C. Then I let it reduce down a bit on the stove. And I used perhaps 8 cloves of garlic to make my “1/4 C, minced.” My mincer does a good job of leaving the skins behind, so it took a few cloves to get a decent pile.
Thanks so much for the recipe. This will become one of my regular Go To soups (alongside butternut squash and veggie/beef).
Thank you so much for your thorough and amazing feedback, Randi! Much appreciated! You prompted me to revise my instructions regarding salt. It is indeed optional, especially if you’re watching your sodium intake, as most people should. Brilliant idea on the cranberry sauce, it has the same sweet and tangy flavor as pomegranate molasses. And yes, it needs all that garlic and all the health benefits that go with it!
Happy holidays to you and your family!