Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Buffy Hargett
Prep Time
20 Mins
Cook Time
35 Mins
Cool Time
10 Mins
Makes 6 servings

If you serve the soup cold, stir in an extra 1/4 teaspoon salt.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°. Spread pesto on 1 side of each bread slice. Cut each bread slice into 1/2- to 1-inch cubes. Place bread cubes in a single layer on a lightly greased aluminum foil-lined jelly-roll pan.

Step 2

Bake at 350° for 16 to 20 minutes or until golden, turning once after 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool.

Step 3

Melt butter with oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add garlic and shallot, and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add tomato paste, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Stir in bell peppers and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool 10 minutes.

Step 4

Process red pepper mixture, in batches, in a blender or food processor 8 to 10 seconds until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Return red pepper mixture to Dutch oven; stir in half-and-half and parsley, and cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 5

Ladle soup into 6 bowls; top with croutons. Garnish, if desired.

Ratings & Reviews

Gherardinis's Review

December 03, 2010
I agree that it needs a little salt and pepper, but my husband LOVES this soup. He's a big protein guy though, so we usually grill a chicken breast to go along with it.

Kathowens's Review

September 30, 2010
Takes time to prepare, but it is worth the effort. Would make it on special occasions

boilerdi's Review

January 26, 2010
I added on lg can of tomato puree and it became one of my favorite soups ever!!! We love it at our house with a grilled provolone and mozzerella sandwhich

klklein's Review

October 07, 2009
Not a thick/creamy soup. Needs some added spice/hotness and some sugar to sweeten it up, otherwise pretty bland.

sjbrouse's Review

February 15, 2009
I made this the way the recipe stated plus two chipotle peppers (from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce but omitted the sauce) to spice it up, & it tasted horrible. Not edible..bitter. Then, I added some diced tomatoes & made it worse -- more bitter & acidic. Then, I added 2 cans of store bought tomato soup & some whipping cream, a tsbp of sugar, and that mellowed it out enough where I could eat it. Everyone I served it to loved it--good amount of spice --jazzy tomato soup, essentially. It was still a little 'zingy' for me. It has potential, but 'as is' it is not very good. I've been asked to make it again, so I must have fixed it in a good way...they would not be asking for it again if it was made as the recipe states. It was really fast & easy to make, though...the reason I'm trying to perfect it.