Sunday, January 31, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

During college, my friend and I loved to visit a local bistro for their Roasted Red Pepper and Gouda Bisque. We were slightly appalled to find out it came prepackaged, and were determined to someday recreate it in our own kitchens. While this version doesn’t involve gouda, it is very creamy and surprisingly filling. It also provides another use for the Roasted Red Peppers in my previous entry.

Most creamy soups require pureeing of some sort. I use an immersion blender (sometimes called a stick blender) so I can puree right in the stockpot. This makes cleanup a lot easier, but if you don’t have an immersion blender, a regular blender will work too. Directions for both pureeing methods are listed.

As I’m sure you might guess, there is a reason why I recommend removing the bay leaves before blending the soup. My first try with this recipe involved a house full of very gracious guests who were constantly picking the crunchy bay leaf pieces out of their soup, since the leaves had been chopped up by the hand blender. Since bay leaves are used in cooking for flavor only - they do not become tender during cooking like most herbs - please be nice to your guests and follow step number four!

This recipe is adapted from one I found in a Penzey’s Spices catalog, submitted by Mike Gallacher.


  • 6 roasted red peppers, skins removed
  • 3 Tbsp fat (I used 2 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp butter)
  • ½ large onion, minced
  • 2 generous pinches of dried whole thyme, about 1 Tbsp (less if you use ground thyme, perhaps 1 ½ tsp)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 cup milk


  1. Heat the fat (butter/olive oil) over medium heat in a stockpot.
  2. Add the onion and all spices (including salt and pepper) and cook until onion is translucent.
  3. Add the broth and bring to a gentle boil. (I let the broth simmer on low until my peppers were done roasting and I had peeled the skins off, then brought the broth to a boil.)
  4. Turn heat to low. Remove ALL FOUR bay leaves.
  5. Add red peppers and use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Or, you can transfer the soup a few cups at a time to a regular blender to puree and return to stockpot.
  6. Add the milk and simmer until soup is heated throughout.


This is one of my favorite soups – it makes quite a bit, so we let the leftovers cool and freeze a few servings of it for those days when we don’t feel much like cooking. It heats back up quite well over medium heat. However, it isn’t a soup that can really stand alone as a meal; since its flavor is very strong, a coffee mug or small bowl’s worth will be plenty. It would be nice served with cheese and crackers.


  1. Looks great and sounds wonderful! A certain relative of mine who is a restaurateur in Bend, Oregon (cough, owner of Brother Jon's Public House) makes a delicious roasted carrot soup in much the same way. Great on a cold winter night.

  2. I can attest--this soup was FABULOUS even if we did have to pick out the bay leaves!!

  3. I still submit that this soup would be even more excellent with gouda added.