Served at room temperature on a warm day or served warm on a cool late summer evening, this Red Pepper Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons is an easy and healthy vegetarian lunch or dinner option for every season!
Tomatoes seem to get all of the love at this time of year (and I certainly appreciate a good Gazpacho), but we can’t forget about the sweet, crisp bell peppers either! Unlike the strong garlic and spice in a chilled gazpacho; however, this particular soup is mild and creamy — making it appealing to just about everyone. It gets a rich, deep flavor from the roasted red peppers, which is perfectly accented by the crusty, sharp, cheesy croutons bobbing on top!
It’s like a grown-up twist on the classic tomato soup + grilled cheese combo…in a very nutritious, fresh, and delicious kind of way!
Best of all, this satisfying and filling meal only requires a handful of simple (REAL FOOD) ingredients and about 15 minutes of hands-on time. The soup itself keeps really well in the refrigerator or freezer, so feel free to prep ahead and enjoy it when the mood strikes! For less than 250 calories, you can have your filling soup, your comforting grilled cheese sandwich, and a very full belly!
- For the Soup:
- 3 red bell peppers
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- For the Grilled Cheese Croutons:
- 4 (1-ounce) slices whole wheat bread
- Cooking spray
- 1.5 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (about ⅓ cup)
- Roast 2 of the whole peppers under a broiler or directly over a gas flame, rotating the peppers with tongs until completely blackened. Place them in a paper bag or wrap in paper towels to sweat for 5-10 minutes so that the peel is easy to remove.
- Rub off the skin from the roasted peppers and remove the seeds. Slice and set aside.
- Seed, core, and thinly slice the remaining red pepper.
- Melt butter in a large saucepan. Saute the unroasted red pepper, onion, and garlic over low heat just until tender (about 10 minutes).
- Add carrots and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer until carrots are very tender (about 30-40 minutes).
- Allow the soup to cool slightly before adding the roasted red peppers. Puree the mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper, as needed.
- This soup is delicious served warm (just return to the saucepan and reheat if desired), or you can serve it at room temperature on a hot day!
- To prepare the croutons:
- Line a baking sheet with foil and spray liberally with cooking spray.
- Divide cheese evenly among two slices of bread. Place on prepared baking sheet and top with remaining bread to form 2 sandwiches.
- Broil sandwiches for about 30 seconds per side, or until toasted. Allow sandwiches to sit for a few minutes. Slice each sandwich into 6 individual pieces. Garnish each bowl of soup with about 3 “croutons.”
Nutrition Information for each 2-cup serving of Red Pepper Soup:
Nutrition Information for 3 Grilled Cheese Croutons:
Looking for other delicious ways to enjoy fresh summer produce? Try these favorites: