Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Tahini and Feta

published Feb 7, 2022
Mediterranean Monday
Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Tahini and Feta Recipe

This pantry-friendly soup swaps the cream for tahini, which not only provides a creamy texture, it gives each spoonful a nutty richness.

Serves4

Makesabout 5 1/2 cups

Prep20 minutes

Cook33 minutes

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two bowls of Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Tahini and Feta
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

This time of year I crave healthy comfort food, and this creamy roasted red pepper soup is exactly that. It’s totally cream-free and instead relies on tahini to lend smooth texture and richness. A crumble of feta ensures it’s satisfying, too. The best part? It comes together in well under an hour using a simple combination of pantry ingredients.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

This Creamy Soup Is Luxuriously Wholesome

I almost always have a jar of roasted red peppers tucked away in the back of my pantry to use in salads, sandwiches, and pasta sauces. They’re a great ingredient to turn to when in-season vegetables are in short supply, which is why I love using them as the star in this February soup.

They’re bolstered by tomato paste, which lends a deep, savory characteristic to the broth, and za’atar, the Middle Eastern spice blend of sumac, dried thyme or oregano, and sesame seeds. Nutty tahini and lemon juice are blended in, and each bowl is topped with feta, a bit more tahini, za’atar, and chopped fresh herbs. It’s a rich-tasting soup that will warm you up without weighing you down, which is exactly what February asks for.

Welcome to Mediterranean MondaySheela Prakash‘s monthly column of Mediterranean recipes. Here, Sheela will teach you all about the Mediterranean diet’s feel-good way of cooking and eating, and share vibrant, easygoing recipes. Cook with us using #mediterraneanmonday, and for even more great recipes, order a copy of Sheela’s cookbook Mediterranean Every Day.

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Tahini and Feta Recipe

This pantry-friendly soup swaps the cream for tahini, which not only provides a creamy texture, it gives each spoonful a nutty richness.

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 33 minutes

Makes about 5 1/2 cups

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1

    medium yellow onion

  • 3 cloves

    garlic

  • 1 (16-ounce) jar

    roasted red peppers

  • 1

    medium lemon

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons

    double-concentrated tomato paste, from a tube

  • 1

    (32-ounce) carton low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided, plus more as needed

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

  • 3 tablespoons

    well-stirred tahini, divided

  • 2 ounces

    feta cheese

  • 3 sprigs

    fresh oregano or thyme, for serving (optional)

  • 1 teaspoon

    za’atar seasoning, plus more for serving

Instructions

  1. Finely chop 1 medium yellow onion and 3 garlic cloves. Drain 1 (16-ounce) jar roasted red peppers and coarsely chop (about 1 1/2 cups). Halve 1 medium lemon crosswise.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until softened and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, until the tomato paste darkens in color, 2 to 3 minutes.

  3. Add 1 box (32 ounces) low-sodium broth, the roasted red peppers, 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Stir to combine, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover with the lid slightly ajar and simmer until the flavors meld and the roasted red peppers are beginning to fall apart, about 15 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, place 1 tablespoon of the tahini in a small bowl. Squeeze the juice from one lemon half (about 1 1/2 tablespoons) into the bowl, season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and whisk until lightened in color, creamy, smooth, and pourable. The mixture might seize during whisking, but this is normal. Continue to whisk and it will smooth out. Crumble 2 ounces feta cheese (about 1/2 cup). Pick the leaves from 3 sprigs fresh oregano or thyme, if using, and coarsely chop the oregano leaves if large.

  5. Remove the soup from the heat. Squeeze the juice from the remaining lemon half into the soup, add the remaining 2 tablespoons tahini and 1 teaspoon za’atar seasoning, and stir to combine. Use an immersion blender to blend directly in the pot until smooth. (Alternatively, blend in batches in a regular blender.) Taste and season with more kosher salt and pepper as needed.

  6. Divide the soup between 4 bowls. Drizzle the tahini sauce over each serving. Top with the feta and garnish with more za’atar and the herb leaves if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.