Romesco Soup with Smashed Chickpeas

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Two bowls of vegan Romesco Soup with Smashed Chickpeas surrounded by fresh tomatoes, peppers, parsley, smoked paprika, and chickpeas

Friends, I’ve been SO excited to share this recipe with you ever since I perfected it a while back.

It’s inspired by a soup we had at a vegan cafe in Iceland called Kaffi Vinyl. It reminded me so much of romesco sauce, which finds its roots in Spanish cooking. Romesco* is traditionally made with almonds (or other nuts), peppers and/or tomatoes, garlic, and red wine vinegar.

As you can imagine, my mind was spinning with ideas on how to recreate this soup once we got home, and the final result totally blew me away. Let’s make soup!

*Note: you can learn more about romesco here.

Baking sheet displaying almonds, red bell peppers, and garlic ready for roasting

This recipe is quite easy to make, requiring just 10 ingredients and simple methods.

It all starts with roasting red bell peppers, almonds, and garlic until brown and toasty. Then they go into the blender with spices like paprika, sea salt, and harissa for a smoky, spicy flavor.

Ingredients for gluten-free vegan red pepper soup in the blender

And the magic comes next: We add our Homemade Vegetable Broth which transforms this sauce into soup! All that’s left is a little red wine vinegar for acidity, maple syrup or coconut sugar for a bit of natural sweetness, and a bit more salt for overall flavor balance.

A big soup pot with smooth and creamy vegan Romesco Soup

I also added chickpeas for more heartiness and plant-based fiber and protein!

A plate of fiber- and protein-packed chickpeas showing some gently smashed by a fork
Two bowls of vegan Romesco Soup with Smashed Chickpeas surrounded by fresh tomatoes, red bell peppers, chickpeas, parsley, and smoked paprika

I hope you all LOVE this soup! It’s:

Hearty
Rich
Flavorful
Vegetable-Packed
Fiber- + Protein-rich
Satisfying
Comforting
& Insanely delicious

This would make the perfect lighter yet satisfying meal when you want something on the table fast. It would feed a crowd or be perfect for making ahead and packing as leftovers for lunch throughout the week.

This soup is absolutely delicious on its own, but it would also pair well with things like my Apple Pecan Arugula Salad, Garlicky Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas, Vegan Pesto Parmesan Breadsticks, Fluffy Vegan Spelt Rolls, Oil-Free Roasted Vegetables, or Shawarma Roasted Cauliflower Steak.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!

Close up shot of rich and flavorful Romesco Soup with Smashed Chickpeas topped with pine nuts

Romesco Soup with Smashed Chickpeas

Delicious vegan soup inspired by romesco sauce with red peppers, tomatoes, vegetable broth, and almonds. A 10-ingredient plant-based side or entrée!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Two bowls of Romesco Soup surrounded by ingredients used to make it
4.89 from 84 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6
Course Entree, Side, Soup
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Spanish-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

SOUP

  • 2 large red bell peppers (skin on // stems on)
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 4 cloves garlic (skin on)
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (slightly drained // I like San Marzano)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (DIY or store-bought)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar (reduce for less acidity // or sub apple cider vinegar)
  • 3/4 tsp smoked paprika (plus more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp each sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup or coconut sugar (or stevia to taste- just a dash)
  • 1-2 tsp harissa paste (optional // or 1/4 tsp red pepper flake // more or less to spice preference)
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas (rinsed // drained // smashed with a fork)

FOR SERVING optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and arrange red peppers, still whole with stems, on one end of a clean baking sheet. On the other end, arrange almonds and garlic (still in skin). If making a larger batch, use more baking sheets, if needed.
  • Place baking sheet in oven and roast almonds for 10-12 minutes or until slightly cracked and golden brown. Then remove almonds from pan and set aside. Continue baking garlic for another 5-8 minutes. Then remove and set aside.
  • With peppers still on baking sheet, increase heat to 475 degrees F (246 C). Allow red peppers to roast until skin is bubbled and mostly blackened, turning/flipping halfway through to char both sides (~10 minutes).
  • Once they’re properly charred, wrap roasted red peppers in foil and steam for 2-3 minutes. Then peel away skin, seeds, and core. Also remove skin from roasted garlic.
  • Add peeled peppers, almonds, garlic, diced tomatoes, vinegar, paprika, sea salt, pepper, maple syrup or coconut sugar, and (optional) harissa or pepper flake to a high-speed blender. Purée until smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired, adding more harissa or pepper flake for heat, salt for saltiness, vinegar for acidity, maple syrup or coconut sugar for sweetness, or paprika for smokiness.
  • Add the soup to a large pot and add the vegetable broth and smashed chickpeas. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Then reduce heat to low and continue simmering for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Serve as is or with a bit of pine nuts, fresh herbs, vegan parmesan cheese, or your favorite bread or roll.
  • Leftovers keep well covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, though best when fresh.

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with all of the recommended ingredients but no toppings / garnishes.

Nutrition (1 of 6 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 249 Carbohydrates: 28 g Protein: 13.1 g Fat: 10.7 g Saturated Fat: 1.1 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 717 mg Fiber: 8.5 g Sugar: 9.3 g

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    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Cate, we haven’t tried this with almond butter and aren’t sure if the taste and texture will be the same. Perhaps start with ~1/3-1/2 cup and increase if you want more. Let us know how it goes!

  1. B says

    I added half of an orange, squeezed. Pine nuts to garnish with some extra red pepper flakes. Very yummy and creative.

  2. The Vegan Goddess says

    I just made this because I’m in love with Romesco — roasted red peppers is heavenly!

    I wasn’t in the mood to add chickpeas so I left that out and also left out maple syrup (didn’t need a sweetener) and vinegar (to make it Medical Medium-friendly and subbed lemon juice). I also left out harissa paste since I don’t have any or red pepper flakes (didn’t really need it).

    I’m sure those ingredients would have added more depth and flavor but it was tasty enough without them. You can’t really go wrong with this customizable recipe.

  3. Ashley says

    Could you use regular roasted almonds for this opposed to raw? And just skip the roasting step?

    I have had kidney stones and try to limit my quantity of nuts on a daily basis. What would happen with a smaller portion of almonds?

  4. Wendy Kornegay says

    Holy smokes, this soup is so easy to make and so full of flavor! I never would have thought about making a Romesco soup, thank you for your creativity! I tweaked it just a bit based on your suggestions and love it!

  5. Sarah says

    This was soooooo good! I didn’t have enough canned tomatoes (only had half the amount) so I added the correct amount of fluid in water and added tomato paste but it still turned out so delicious. Thank you!!

  6. Katelyn says

    Oh my god. Now when I say this is the best soup I’ve ever made, I mean this is *THE BEST* soup I’ve ever made. I added leftover balsamic chicken instead of the chickpeas and I literally could have eaten the entire pot. I added toasted pine nuts at the end but would have preferred without. I can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Katelyn! Thanks so much for the lovely review! xo

  7. Luana says

    I made this soup with a small substitution – roasted hazelnuts instead of almonds, but I have a feeling it could work well with other roasted nuts. The only major difference is roasting time (hazelnuts took about 20 mins at 350) but the favor is wonderfully layered for a smooth, creamy soup. Thank you for another delicious recipe!

  8. Erin says

    gathering the ingredients together to make this tonight and realize i have only 1/2 the amount of diced tomatoes that i need and no fresh tomatoes to be had. should i a) throw in some tomato sauce b) throw in some tomato paste c) throw my husband in the car to go get another can of diced tomatoes :))) thoughts??

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Erin, husband in the car might be the best option ;) But in a pinch, tomato sauce would probably be the next best.

  9. Sara T says

    The soup is delicious! Next time, I will use store-bought roasted bell peppers because I found this step to be longer than necessary. And I’ll have to be more careful with those garlic cloves, 3 of them exploded in my oven (!) even though I followed the instructions. Be careful with these tiny bombs.

    Thank you for another awesome recipe!

    • Sara T says

      I heard a violent “bang” coming from the kitchen. And another one. I ran to come and see what had just happened. Then, I opened the oven door and saw that the whole oven was covered in garlic particles and only the skins remained on the sheet. The room filled with burned garlic smell/smoke while the red pepper finished grilling. I’ll have to clean up tomorrow. The soup was still delicious.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Oh no! Sorry to hear that, Sara! We wonder if the garlic cloves were on the smaller side?

    • Shyla says

      Hey Dana! Thank you for the recipe:) I am looking forward to making it for dinner. Can I use almond flour if I don’t have whole almonds?

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hm, we haven’t tried that! But perhaps if you toast it very lightly? Let us know if you try it!

  10. Zara says

    The best soup I’ve ever made. I am not kidding. It is so delicious, I love the smoky flavor. Not to mention it is incredibly easy to make.

  11. Michelle says

    This is so delicious! I never would have thought that ground roasted almonds would be in soup… but the consistency is divine! Thanks so much. I’ll be making this one again and again.

  12. Jennifer says

    I’ve made (and LOVED) your roasted cauliflower tacos with romesco. Wondering if adding some of that cauliflower as “garnish” to this soup would work well…offer some texture variance… Though it is no doubt delicious as written.

    • Jess says

      WOW! I forgot the smoked paprika and this was still AMAZING. I added roasted cauliflower (at the suggestion of another commenter) since I had some that I needed to use. 11/10 will make again

  13. Beth says

    This sounds so yummy! But I’m currently cursed with an impossibly small kitchen, so I haven’t invested in a good-quality blender. Would a Magic Bullet work for this? I’m nervous it might not be able to handle grinding up mostly dry ingredients…

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We think it would work! Maybe just stop and give it a few shakes during the process. Let us know how it goes!

  14. Martha says

    So delicious! I added two heaping tablespoons of nutritional yeast. Made it on the soup setting of my vitamix, so did not do anything on the stovetop. Heated up the smashed chickpeas in the microwave with a little olive oil and salt. I added just shy of 4 cups of broth – the vitamix was getting too full – and the soup wasn’t too thin. Oh, and I did not peel the charred red peppers.

  15. Halle says

    This was so, so good! I wasn’t sure what to expect; roasted red peppers aren’t my fave. I’m glad I went ahead and made it, even though I was unsure. I made the veggie broth (didn’t follow the recipe exactly, but it came out fine), and roasted the peppers; first time for both. I topped mine with roasted almond slivers and some feta; I’m looking forward to leftovers :)

  16. Elsa says

    The roasted peppers really added flavor to the soup! This was great! I also used fire-roasted diced tomatoes (can) and blended all the chickpeas for a smooth consistency. Quick and would definitely make this more often. Thank you!

  17. Marie says

    The perfect autumn evening meal. Made this tonight and served with grilled smoked vegan cheese on sourdough, it was divine. I didn’t have any maple syrup to hand so I subbed with a pinch of sugar, and I reduced the garlic according to taste. Smoky, spicy and satisfying with a gorgeous depth of flavour. I’ll be making this again!

  18. Diane Spero says

    Made this tonight and it full of flavor. Added more maple syrup and smoked paprika according to my own tastes. Was really surprised my husband loved it. We had the soup with bread and it made a great meal. Simple to make and delicious to eat.

  19. Ashley says

    Really great! Good subtle heat. I prefer soups with a bit more to chew on so I added some chopped lacinato kale in the last 5 minutes of cooking. I’ll be making this again for sure!

  20. Amanda says

    Im a rookie and am unsure of how to steam the peppers? Should i place them in a pot of boiling water with the lid on?

    • Karen Solon says

      I think you just wrap the roasted peppers in foil and then let them rest for a few minutes. The heat and moisture trapped in the foil should effectively “steam” them. :) at least that’s what I did, and they turned out great! Awesome soup, loved it!

  21. Cristina Carolan says

    I had some harissa on hand and remembered that I had seen this recipe! Thanks for the deliciousness! I love the addition of chickpeas!

  22. Mel says

    Dana!! This soup is insanely delicious! I am constantly looking for new soups to try and chanced upon this from your newsletter. I found all the ingredients in my pantry and made as described, except for harissa paste. I am adding this to my ” make again” list. Thanks for this recipe!

  23. Marica says

    So so good! Totally in my rotation now. I used sprouted almonds instead of raw and added a smallish roasted sweet potato instead of any sweetener (I just blended it in). It did need a little sweetness (I tried it without) but the sweet potato totally did the trick — and gives nice texture. Thanks for another outstanding recipe!!!

  24. Amanda says

    I went light on the maple syrup, heavy on the harissa and paprika, and it was amazing. So good I couldn’t bring myself to add the broth. Just used it as a sauce.

  25. Leslie says

    Followed recipe exactly after a friend recommended. So delicious!!! Couldn’t stop eating. Plan to freeze and keep a batch to keep on hand! Thank you for sharing!

  26. Chantal says

    A very filling and satisfying soup. My only modification was omitting the harissa paste as i didn’t have any but I added crushed red pepper and adjusted for my desired heat. It is a process to make but worth every step. This soup is decadent.

  27. Genevieve says

    I made this soup this weekend, and the flavor is really good. However, I was curious if the 4 cups of broth is accurate. I drained my tomatoes completely before blending, so I don’t think there was a lot of extra liquid. When I started to add the broth, I got to two and half cups, and the soup already looked very runny. It’s so thin it’s difficult to eat with a spoon. I can’t imagine adding the entire 4 cups unless I was going to drink it out of a cup.

  28. Alexa says

    First of all, I’m a big fan of your site even though I have never commented before. I love your recipes!

    This soup is SO GOOD! My husband just told me he thinks it’s the best soup I’ve ever made (probably because tomatoes and peppers are his favorite “veggies”).

    I didn’t have harisa, so I used a piri piri spice blend, coriander, and a little liquid smoke instead. Turned out really well.

    Thank you for sharing! It’s a unique soup that I’d love to make again for guests.

  29. Nikola says

    Wow! What an amazing recipe, hearty and packed with flavour. Didn’t need to adjust it much, just extra chickpeas and another tsp apple cider vinegar. Soo impressed :)

  30. Beaulah Giannone says

    I totally agree with this article. Rags are the way to go. Of course, just like everyone else I do use paper towels, but I try to use them carefully. I do use more than 1-2 rolls per year, but I buy them in bulk when I am running low. My husband is diabetic, so I watch his socks very carefully. When a hole or weak spot shows up, they are rags. And what wonderful rags they make. I use them for dusting at first, but when they get dirty I throw them away. Reuse!

  31. Laura says

    I made this ALMOST exactly as written – skipped the harissa/red pepper flakes because I’m not a fan of spicy… and it was delicious! So warm and comforting, and filling! I will definitely make this again!

  32. Shemaiah says

    Great soup. It made my house smell like a home! Loved the flavor of the sauce. Next time I’ll gradually add the vegetable both to taste. My goal is to graduate to making the veggie broth! Either way I will be enjoying this soup throughout the fall and winter.

  33. Cassidy Tinkoff says

    YUM! I keep coming back to this simple recipe for a deliciously smoky meal. This is true comfort food with simple and cheap ingredients!

  34. Lulu says

    I just made this last night and the flavors are popping! It’s so healthy and hearty, without feeling like it’s weighing me down. I did make some changes: left out the sweetener; instead of roasting the almonds and garlic with the red peppers, I toasted/sauteed them on the stovetop; and I didn’t smash the chickpeas :P still delicious and will make again! Thanks Dana!