This tomato and red pepper broth is served with couscous and is a great recipe for cleaning out your fridge.
It should be no secret that I am a broth fiend. I particularly love broths that allow me to use up ingredients that are at the end of their life. This tomato pepper recipe is just that. Use up all those wrinkly peppers or bruised tomatoes and transform them into a deliciously rich broth.
This recipe combines a combination of sweet red bell peppers, fresh tomatoes, onion, butter, and crushed red pepper for a rich, fragrant broth that tastes delicious.
How to make this tomato and red pepper broth:
This recipe is easy to make, but give yourself some time to let the ingredients get to know each other in the pot. You want to extract as much of that peppery flavor as possible, so simmer it on the stove for at least an hour and a half.
First, heat oil and butter in a large soup pot. Add quartered onion and cook it until it just browns. Next, add tomato paste and crushed red pepper and let it sizzle in the oil with the onions for about 2 minutes. Add rougly chopped peppers and tomatoes. Next, cover the ingredients with water and broing to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer it, covered, for about 45 minutes. Uncover the pot, taste the broth and turn the heat to medium. Hard simmer for an additional 15–30 minutes.
From there, simply strain the broth through a sieve into a large bowl and mash the solides into the sieve to extract out as much of the juice as possible.
Wipe out the pot, heat a little oil and add the couscous. Toast it for about 3 minutes before adding the tomato broth to the pot. Cook until the couscous is al dente and finish with arugula or spinach.
Serve with microgreens, freshly shredded basil, or minced parsley.
Loved this tomato and couscous recipe? Looking for more vegetarian recipes? Check my archives!
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Tomato and Red Pepper Broth
- Large pot
- Fine mesh sieve
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 yellow onion peeled and quartered
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper more or less to taste
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1½ pounds ripe tomatoes roughly chopped
- 3 red or orange bell peppers trimmed, seeded, and roughly chopped
- 6–7 cups water plus more as needed
- 1½ cups pearl couscous
- 5 ounces arugula
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Microgreens or shredded basil, or minced parsley, optional
- Extra virgin olive oil optional
Cook the onion:
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil and the butter in a large pot over medium until frothy. Add the quartered onion and cook for 5 minutes until it just begins to brown.
Brown the tomato paste:
- Season with crushed red pepper and add the tomato paste. Cook for 2 minutes until it begins to deepen in color.
- Add the tomatoes and peppers to the pot and toss to coat. Season everything with salt and pepper.
Simmer the broth:
- Pour in 6 cups of water. If more water is needed to cover the vegetables, add another cup or two. Bring to a boil, cover, and then reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Remove the lid and turn the heat to medium. Hard simmer the broth for 15–30 minutes to reduce it slightly. Add water in 1/4 cup increments if the broth reduces too quickly. Taste and season once more to your preferences.
Strain the broth:
- Place a sieve over a large bowl. Pour the broth through the sieve. Use a spoon to mash the solids into the sieve to strain out as much juice as possible. Discard the solids. Wipe out the pot and return it to the stove.
Cook the couscous:
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in the pot over medium heat. Once shimmering, add the pearl couscous and cook for 2 minutes until they begin to turn golden brown.
- Pour the broth into the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 12–15 minutes until the pearl couscous is al dente. Taste and season.
Wilt the arugula:
- Add the arugula to the broth and cook for 1–3 minutes until bright green and wilted. Turn off the heat.
- Ladle the broth and couscous into shallow bowls and garnish with microgreens or fresh herbs. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, if you like. Enjoy!