Everything about this soup is just heavenly. The soup itself is slightly spicy from the pepper flakes, a little creamy from the Greek yogurt, smoky from the roasted peppers and fire roasted tomatoes, and hearty from the pureed vegetables. It is literally perfect! And the grilled cheese croutons just give it that little extra salty, cheesy bite.
I am really excited about this recipe…it has the base of an absolutely perfect tomato soup but with a twist from adding roasted red peppers. Which, by the way, are sooo delicious. Amazing, magical little pepper elves sneak into the oven and completely transform them into a soft, sweet, rich vegetable while you are looking away. That is the most logical explanation in my opinion… So when you puree the peppers into the soup, they add so much extra flavor and depth.
Lets just break this soup down a little bit…first of all, you start with the classic mirepoix of carrots, onions, and celery, which gives the soup an amazing base of flavor. Then you add garlic…obviously…and some chicken/veggie stock. But then, and here is the first unique, delicious twist, you add fire roasted tomatoes instead of the plain kind. Fire roasted…how delicious does that sound already?? Since this is a Roasted Red Pepper Tomato soup, I thought adding fire roasted tomatoes would be a nice addition, and ohhh man it was. So then you let this delicious soup simmer away while your red peppers are roasting and charring in the oven. Finish the soup off by pureeing all of this deliciousness together and just sit there and watch the color turn burnt orange as everything blends together into a thick, slightly spicy, comforting bowl of happiness :).
And then there’s the grilled cheese croutons…who doesn’t love tomato soup and grilled cheese? Come on…it’s a classic combo. I always like to basically use my soup as a “dip” for grilled cheese sandwiches. Then once the sandwich is gone, I will finish the soup on it’s own, wishing the entire time that I still had more grilled cheese. So that was the inspiration for this! Rather than dipping the grilled cheese in the soup, there are little cubes of grilled cheese in there already so you can eat everything together.
And here’s the other thing…this soup is SO healthy! All that goes into it is fresh veggies, canned tomatoes, chicken stock, and Greek yogurt…So good for you! The grilled cheese croutons use whole wheat bread and just a little cheese, but if you want to omit those to make it even healthier, you absolutely can! They are totally optional. One night we had the soup with the croutons, and the next night we just had it with a salad. And it was absolutely delicious both ways. Or if you want to go the less healthy option, you could double the amount of croutons. Or triple them. You see where I’m going here. Do whatever your heart desires!
I’ll tell you something though…the soup doesn’t taste healthy. It doesn’t taste like you are eating veggies and chicken stock…it tastes just as good as any junk food. You won’t feel like you are making any sacrifices, which I love. Those recipes are my favorites.
This is the kind of soup I would love to curl up under a blanket with on a cold, rainy day. Seth’s biggest comment on this soup was how comforting it was. He was standing over the pot eating spoonful after spoonful before he finally got a bowl of it and sat down.
A healthy, flavorful, comforting meal. Doesn’t get better than that!
Here is the recipe:
**Note: you can easily make this soup gluten free by leaving out the croutons, and you can easily make it vegan by leaving out the croutons and the Greek yogurt**
- 3 red bell peppers
- 3 carrots
- 3 stalks of celery (keep the leafy tops for an optional garnish)
- 1 onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 32 oz box of chicken stock (or veggie stock to make this vegetarian)
- 2 14.5 oz cans fire roasted tomatoes
- ¼ tsp oregano
- ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt
- 6 slices of whole wheat bread
- 3 slices of cheddar cheese
- Turn your oven on broil and place your peppers on a baking sheet
- Place in the oven on the rack closest to the top
- Let the skin of the peppers get black and charred
- Once once side is charred, take the peppers out and turn them and place them back in the oven
- Continue this process until all sides of the peppers are dark and charred
- It will take about 15-20 minutes
- Meanwhile, heat a large pot over medium high heat with a little olive oil
- Dice your onion and celery, peel and chop your carrots, and add it all to the pot with the oil
- Cook the veggies until they are slightly softened and the onions are translucent, about 5 or so minutes
- Chop your garlic, and add it into the pot. Cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute
- Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper
- Stir together
- Bring to boil and reduce to a simmer
- Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes
- When the peppers are charred on every side, remove them from the pan and place in a bowl
- cover the bowl tightly in saran wrap
- Let the peppers steam for 5-10 minutes
- Take them from the bowl and remove the skin. I used a knife to help me scrape the skin off since the peppers were still hot. The skin should come off easily
- Remove the stem and seeds from the peppers and set aside
- Once the soup has been simmering for 15 minutes, remove from heat, add the peppers, and puree using an immersion blender
- If you don't have an immersion blender (or stick blender), you can use a regular blender or a food processor
- Puree the soup until it is smooth
- Add the Greek yogurt and whisk together. If you are using an immersion blender, I would use that to incorporate the yogurt into the soup
- For the grilled cheese croutons:
- One grilled cheese sandwich will make 6 croutons, which should be enough for 2 bowls of soup
- For each grilled cheese sandwich, melt a little bit of butter in a skillet
- Between two slices of whole wheat bread, place one slice of cheddar cheese
- Place the sandwich in the pan over medium heat and cook until each side is golden brown, and the cheese is melted
- Slice the crust off all four sides, slice down the middle, and then slice each half into three squares, giving you six croutons per sandwich
- Top each bowl of soup with three croutons and you are ready to serve!
- Optional garnish: Chopped celery tops