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Chilled Tomato and Red Pepper Soup

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields 6 cups

Servings: 6 to 8 as an appetizer

Roasted tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and sweet smoked paprika give this soup an intriguing smoky flavor. An easy-to-make olive purée adds a briny note. If you prefer, you can use store-bought black olive tapenade, preferably a variety without anchovies.

Read the article “Chill Out” for tips on giving your soup great flavor and smooth texture.


For the olive purée

  • 1 1-inch-thick slice French baguette, crust removed
  • 1/4 cup brine-cured black olives, such as Kalamata, pitted
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

For the soup

  • 1-3/4 lb. ripe tomatoes (about 5 medium), cored and halved crosswise
  • 1-1/3 lb. red bell peppers (3 to 4 large), halved lengthwise, cored, and seeded
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped (1-1/2 Tbs.)
  • 1 tsp. sweet smoked paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1-inch-thick slices French baguette

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 140
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 90
  • Fat (g): 10
  • Saturated Fat (g): 1.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7
  • Cholesterol (mg): 0
  • Sodium (mg): 330
  • Carbohydrates (g): 12
  • Fiber (g): 3
  • Protein (g): 2


Make the olive purée

  • Soak the bread in a small cup of water for about 5 minutes. Squeeze out some of the water and put the bread in a mini food processor or a blender. Add the olives, garlic, olive oil, and 2 Tbs. water and purée until smooth, about 1 minute. (Add more water, 1 Tbs. at a time, if necessary.)

Make the soup

  • Position a rack 4 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler on high.
  • Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Put the tomatoes and peppers cut side down on the baking sheet and broil until the skins are charred and the peppers are just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove the charred skins.
  • In a 2-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil and garlic over medium-low heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until the garlic is pale golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the paprika and cook, swirling the pan, 1 minute more. Add 2 cups water, 1-1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper and boil over medium-high heat for 2 minutes to infuse the flavors. Add the baguette slices and remove the pan from the heat.
  • In a blender, purée half of the broiled vegetables and any accumulated juice with half of the garlic broth, including the bread, until very smooth, about 2 minutes.
  • Set a medium-mesh strainer over a large bowl and force the purée through it with a silicone spatula, pressing on the solids. Repeat with the remaining vegetables and broth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours.
  • Just before serving, season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with a swirl of the olive purée.

Make Ahead Tips

The purée will keep covered at room temperature for up to 4 hours or in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before using.

The finished soup can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 2 days. Adjust the seasoning and garnish just before serving.



Rate or Review

Reviews (1 review)

  • User avater
    JoanT | 07/20/2013

    This was the star of my dinner party last night, even for the sworn veggie hater! I did roast and char the red peppers (removing the skin) separately from the tomatoes. Then I added 1 Tbsp of the olive oil, & salt and pepper, to the halved tomatoes, roasting them at 400 degrees for about half an hour. When sauting the garlic and paprika, I cut the amount of oil to 2 Tbsp. My trusty food mill with the medium grind took care of the tomato skins, cores and some of the seeds. I finished the combined soup mixture with the stick blender for a silky texture.The bread in the olive puree created a muddy color and thick texture. Next time, I'll either buy some tapenade or delete the bread from the recipe with some added olive oil and an anchovy for a looser puree.

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