Chilled tomato, red pepper and chilli soup


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Vegetables: The new food heroes


By Peter Gordon

Published 2007

  • About

This is a relatively simple-to-make summer soup (although, funnily enough, it’s also quite good served hot in winter). You can make it as spicy as you want, with more or less chilli; and for another flavour dimension, replace the chilli altogether with pimentón (Spanish smoked paprika), or use a tin of piquillo peppers in place of the red peppers for a light smoky taste.


  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½-1 red chilli (you can make it as chilli hot, or not, as you want)
  • 3 red peppers, halved, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (or use a good red wine vinegar, or even just straight sherry with a squeeze of lemon juice)
  • 700 g ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped (or 600 g tinned chopped tomatoes)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 spring onion, thinly sliced


Heat a wide pan, add the oil, then after a second or two add the onions, garlic and chilli, and cook over a high heat, stirring often, to caramelize the onions.

Add the peppers and continue cooking for another few minutes. Add the vinegar and tomatoes, mix well, then add 200 ml water and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. If the heat is too low, the vegetables won’t soften enough, so make sure it’s at a rapid simmer (or a very gentle boil).

Once the soup is cooked, purée it (try using a stick blender or goblet blender with the lid loosely on – a food processor isn’t the best for hot liquids). You can pass it through a sieve, but it’s not necessary.

Tip it into a wide dish, add salt to taste, then cover with a sheet of baking parchment and allow to cool to room temperature. Place in the fridge and leave to go completely cold.

Meanwhile, boil the egg for 5 minutes, then refresh under cold running water. Shell and either grate or chop the egg.

To Serve

Give the soup a stir, adjust the seasoning, then ladle it into 4 bowls. Place some egg and spring onions on top, then drizzle with some more extra-virgin olive oil.