chunky red pepper soup with orzo + herb oil
This was one of those recipes that I could have kept adding more and more “and”s to but I had to stop myself.
Like I could have added chorizo or Italian sausage, making it chunky red pepper soup with orzo AND herb oil AND chorizo/Italian sausage.
And then I thought about adding cheese, making it chunky red pepper soup with orzo AND chorizo/Italian sausage AND cheese.
And then I thought it could also be really really good with bits of potato in it, making it chunky red pepper soup with orzo AND chorizo/Italian sausage AND cheese AND bits of potato.
But I stopped myself because, well, what we have here? It’s pretty darn near perfect as it is.
Christmas season = soup season in our house, though that season extends far beyond December 25, too. Because I have emotional connections to my food (it’s true), I need comfort like whoa in the winter and soup does it for me. Especially a chunky veggie soup with little pasta pieces in it and a bright herby oil drizzle on top. And dipping bread on the side, of course.
Side note slash fun fact: I did not intend for this soup to look so red-green Christmasy but I’m kind of glad it worked out that way. Accidental festiveness.
I found the recipe for this soup in one of my absolute favorite cookbooks, “Homemade” by Yvette Van Boven (also, I kind of wish I had a name as cool as hers). The book is chock full of homey, comforting recipes, this soup being no exception (it’s the same cookbook from which I made this equally tasty sweet potato soup). And after surviving the first real snowstorm of the year while the husband was out of town, leaving me to take care of all the shoveling/snowblowing duties (and by “take care,” I mean asking my father-in-law to bail me out by doing it for me), it was time for soup season to begin.
Here are my suggestions for this soup: Leave the red pepper bits a little chunky, like 1-inch pieces. It adds awesome texture and you can actually taste the roasted pepper flavor, then. Also, feel free to use your own combination of herbs for the oil. I liked how the parsley and tarragon in my version brightened up the flavors of this soup, but I can also see basil (what the original recipe calls for) or chives working well, too. Finally, dipping bread is highly recommended. And if you want to add chorizo/Italian sausage/cheese/potato to it, as well, you have my full support.
Chunky Red Pepper Soup with Orzo and Herb Oil
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 40 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
For the soup:
- 4 red bell peppers
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 3 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 (14 oz) can peeled whole tomatoes
- 1 quart vegetable broth
- 1 cup orzo
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the herb oil:
- 1 bunch fresh parsley (or herb of your choice)
- 1 bunch fresh tarragon (or herb of your choice)
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- Sea salt, to taste
- Light the burners on a gas stove to medium-high heat. Place a pepper on each burner and roast, rotating until all the skin is black (alternatively, if you don’t have a gas stove, you can use your oven broiler to roast the peppers).
- Transfer peppers to a plastic bag or a large bowl; seal or cover with plastic wrap.
- Meanwhile, heat a large pot over medium heat. Add oil, then add onions. Cook onions 5 minutes until lightly caramelized. Add garlic and tomatoes; stir. Add 2 cups broth.
- Simmer soup over medium heat 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, remove peppers from bag or bowl. Peel off the skins (you can do this under cold running water if it helps). Cut peppers and remove seeds and stem. Slice peppers into 1-inch pieces and add to soup. Add remaining vegetable broth to soup.
- Puree mixture briefly with an immersion blender (or pulse a few times in a regular blender), enough to leave it equally chunky and smooth. Return pot to stovetop over medium heat; stir in orzo, orange zest and juice. Cook 5 minutes more until orzo is al dente. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Make the herb oil: In a food processor, process herbs until minced. With food processor running, drizzle in oil until mixture is smooth. Add salt to taste.
- Drizzle oil over warm soup. Serve with crusty, cheesy bread for dipping.
Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link.
Simply love it! This recipe reminds me of my childhood where my mum would cook pasta in homemade chunky tomato soup. So very warming.
I might be sweating it out down under, I want a big bowl of this for dinner!
This looks incredible no matter what you call it!! Love the colors and the flavors!!
The best part of this below zero weather we’re having over here is all the soup I’ve been eating. I’m going to need to re-stock the soup inventory soon, and this one looks like the perfect fit! Love the roasted red pepper and orzo and that herb oil is calling my name. Must get ahold of Yvette’s book, stat!
The idea of Italian sausage in this soup just seems brilliant (that and imagine sprinkling some monterey jack or pepper jack cheese on this — #PraiseHim). Love the colors!
I love orzo in anything, this is totally up my alley – it looks beautiful! 🙂
Yum!! I could bowl after bowl of this soup–and I feel you on the title thing. It’s haard sometimes. Like the Sophie’s choice of the blog world.
Warm and cozy…and holiday colors!! Sounds so good!
This soup looks like it is bursting with flavor!
It is weird to crave soup for breakfast? Because I definitely am now!
It snowed a lot in Chicago and this soup would be perfect! I love the orzo you added in–great idea! 🙂
These flavors sound amazing! Soup season is definitely in full swing and I’m in need of some new ideas. This one has to be made soon!
This soup looks awesome and delicious but I can’t stop thinking BABYGIRLBABYGIRLBABYGIRLAHHHHHHHH!!!!!
Ha, I love the colours of this! So bright and full of flavour too.
I’m glad you decided to leave out the sausage. I might have been deterred and unable to see it’s true potential. It looks delicious just the way it is!
p.s. Congrats on finding out the sex of the baby!! Weee!
Sounds perfect! I have a hard time not adding too many things to soup. You have amazing self control. This soup is stunning.
I am currently freezing (aka 45 degrees in NorCal) and I need this soup in my life!
This soup sounds wonderful! I cannot get enough soup during the winter and have been trying to make at least one per week. Eating beef stew right now. 🙂 I love the accidental festiveness.
This looks so hearty and delicious! So perfect for winter…it looks like it would just be so comforting. Yum! Pinned 🙂
I NEED soup in the winter or I go a little bit wacky. I’ve been trying to have it every week! Adding this to my rotation. Roasted red peppers are da bomb.
This soup looks awesome, I love the accidental festive colors in here 🙂 Soup is always welcome at our house especially when the weather has been so chilly lately 🙂
Wow, the flavors of this are incredible! It’s a snow day here and I would love to have a bowl of this!
I love that there are red pepper chunk in here…and i totally get you with adding too many “and”s to soups. It’s so easy to just chuck in that extra goodness. This looks perfect, though, and I love it’s accidental holiday cheer!
The soup looks amazing! I love using barley in my kitchen…but never tried a red pepper soup. Lovely 🙂 ela
Soup season is here indeed Steph, and I love every warm comforting bite. I love to make a big pot of soup on weekends to bring for lunch all week long. Adding this recipe to my rotation!
Looks BEAUTIFUL, and so perfect for winter!
I’m totally with you – I crave soup like mad this time of the year (and really well into the new year!). This sounds so delicious – some of my very favorite things combined into one!
What a festive bowl of soup! It really does sound amazing. I love red pepper everything. Love your new look!
Looks so cozy, and perfectly comforting! Just perfect for these frigid temps and what a lovely, beautiful color. Happiness in a bowl. 🙂
Whoa- full of yummy flavors. I think some goat cheese would be a fabulous addition too! Wait, I think that about everything! Pinning now!
Yahoo!!! I was wondering what to have for dinner tonight! Thank you! And also, congrats again on the girl news:)
I have that problem too, where I just keep adding more and more and more. This looks so comforting and just perfect for a freezing cold day like today!
I sure could use a hot bowl of soup right now! Yum!
I’ve got my other half the cutest little flask for Chritmas THIS is going to be the first recipe I try to put in it!!!! Thanks for sharing, this sounds incredibly delicious and your photos are so beautiful!! x
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