Eat on the Cheap Recipe: Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup With Polenta Croutons


Crispy on the outside, moist and chewy on the inside, these little polenta croutons are a fun (and gluten free!) addition to any soup. Paired with sweet roasted peppers and tangy tomatoes, this is the perfect soup for these cold, foggy Sacramento days. And by roasting your own peppers, you get maximum flavor for minimal cost.
 Makes 4–6 servings; total cost per serving: $2.25


For the soup:

2 large red bell peppers
1 24-ounce can of whole, peeled tomatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 large cloves of garlic, minced

1 cup chicken or vegetable broth

1 cup nonfat milk

Salt and pepper to taste

For the croutons:

1/2 8-ounce tube of prepared polenta, cut into 3/4″ cubes

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


1. Set your oven’s broiler to its lowest setting. Rinse the peppers well, making sure labels have been removed. Place peppers on a cookie sheet lined with foil and broil for about 5–7 minutes on each side, until the pepper skin has turned dark brown and blistery.

2. Remove from oven and place peppers into an airtight container such as a bowl with a lid, or a plastic or paper bag. Let the peppers rest in the container for 10 to 15 minutes to build up steam so the peel can be removed easily. Carefully peel off the skin, then cut the pepper in half. Remove the core and seeds, then cut the pepper into 1″ cubes and set aside.

3. Reduce oven heat to 400º. Toss the polenta cubes with the remaining olive oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Bake for about 10 minutes, until golden brown and crisp on the outside. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels.

4. In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then add the garlic. Cook over medium heat until fragrant but not browned. Add the roasted peppers and canned tomatoes and cook for about 7–8 minutes, until they start to stew down a bit.

5. Carefully transfer the sautéed veggies to a blender and add the broth and milk, and a bit of salt and pepper. Puree until smooth. Check for flavoring and adjust accordingly with more salt or pepper. Return to the stove and cook on medium-low heat for another 5 minutes or so. Remove from heat.

6. Serve generous amounts of soup in bowls or mugs and top with as many croutons as you like. Garnish with chopped chives or basil, and enjoy!

To read more blogs from Kimberly Morales, check out Poor Girl Eats Well, found at