I recently discovered the tomato and roasted red pepper soup at Trader Joe's. I don't usually go for peppers, even roasted red peppers, but not only is this soup delicious, but it is incredibly versatile. As this is soup season, I thought I would further share some of my discoveries.
Since this is at heart a tomato soup, it can, of course, be enjoyed alone or with simple garnishes such as a dollop of sour cream or shredded cheddar or Parmesan cheese. To lend some heartiness, a can of corn is quite tasty, or a cup or two of mixed vegetables.
Tortellini is also a wonderful addition! If you cook the tortellini in the soup rather than add it before serving, it ends up with a consistency much like Chef Boyardee, but tastier and probably healthier if you use fresh tortellini without preservatives and such. Ravioli, or any stuffed pasta, would also work well.
I heard that a coworker uses this soup as a base for sauces, adding a can of tomato paste as a thickener. It never would have occurred to me to use a soup like this to make my own pasta sauce, but in the future, I may have to give it a try. The roasted red pepper gives it a natural sweetness and cuts down on some of the acidity I find in the tomatoes.
I think meatballs would be great, too. Perhaps a big crock pot of meatballs simmering in tomato and roasted red pepper soup for a Halloween party or Thanksgiving. Oh, the endless soupy possibilities!