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Best Roasted Pepper Soup Recipe

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Author Notes

Mostly peppers, this minimalist soup comes together with just a handful of ingredients. Besides the namesake ingredient, all you need are onions, nuts, feta, and paprika (plus staples like oil and salt). No tomatoes, no carrots, no herbs, no garlic, no broth. While most roasted pepper soups start with red peppers, I’ve found that orange ones taste just as wonderful—and, if you ask me, the pumpkin color is even prettier. Whichever you pick, there is no peeling needed. After chopping and roasting the peppers, the sorta-charred skins get puréed with everything else (and no, you don’t need a high-speed blender—I don’t have one either). Peppers and nuts are a magical combo, beloved in many dishes from Syrian muhammara to Spanish romesco, and this soup hinges on that sweet-earthy contrast. Depending on what’s around, use walnuts or cashews, which are both soft enough to be briefly soaked, then blended into a silky milk, no straining required. The feta is the wild card. A creamy slab gets roasted with the peppers and onions. Meanwhile, the brine bolsters the nut milk, adding savoriness and saltiness, much like a broth. (If you can’t find feta in brine, you can swap in lightly salted water.) Garnishes are optional, depending on your energy. Most days, I just dig in with a hunk of bread alongside. But if you’re feeling peppy, play around with the ingredients we already use: Try a drizzle of olive oil, plain or paprika-infused (more on that here); crumbled feta, plain or roasted; toasted nuts; or mix and match. —Emma Laperruque

Watch This Recipe

Really Easy Roasted Pepper Soup

  • Prep time
    25 minutes
  • Cook time
    50 minutes
  • makes
    scant 2 quarts
Ingredients

  • 1 cup

    (4 ounces) chopped walnuts or cashews

  • 6

    medium (2¾ pounds) red or orange bell peppers

  • 3

    medium (1½ pounds) yellow onions

  • Extra-virgin olive oil


  • Kosher salt


  • 4 teaspoons

    smoked paprika

  • 4 ounces

    feta, halved, ½ cup brine reserved
Directions
  1. Heat the oven to 425°F. While that’s heating up, add the walnuts to a blender and cover with 1 cup of hot water.
  2. Remove the stems and seeds from the bell peppers, then roughly chop. Divide between 2 rimmed sheet pans. Halve and peel the onions, then roughly chop. Divide between the sheet pans.
  3. On each sheet pan: Generously drizzle with olive oil, lightly season with salt, and sprinkle with the paprika. Use your hands to toss the ingredients on each pan until coated, then evenly spread out.
  4. Roast for 25 minutes. Remove both sheet pans from the oven and use a spatula to shuffle everything around. On one sheet pan, scooch the vegetables to one side, leaving just enough space to add the feta pieces. Drizzle a little olive oil on the feta, flip it over, and then drizzle a little more.
  5. Return the sheet pans to the oven and keep roasting for another 20 to 25 minutes, until the peppers are starting to char, the onions are soft, and the feta is tender. Remove from the oven.
  6. Add ½ cup of feta brine to the blender with the walnuts and blend until smooth as possible, like store-bought nut milk. Add all the peppers and onions, plus whatever spiced oil is left on the pans, and the feta. Blend until smooth. Add 1 cup of water and blend again. Taste. More water for a looser soup? More salt or paprika? Adjust as needed.
  7. Heat up however much you want to eat now in the microwave or on the stove. Then divide up the rest into airtight containers to refrigerate or freeze until later.

Emma is the food editor at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles on the fly, baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., and writing about the history of pie in North Carolina. Now she lives in New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma’s award-winning column, Big Little Recipes (also the cookbook in November 2021!). And see what she’s up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

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