Red Pepper Soup with Black Bean “Meat”ballsSo the score at the end of the day looked a little something like this:

Children: 47
Mom: 0

15 points for throw up on the carpet, at least 20 for the “I HAVE TO POOP!” yell in church this morning, 25 for peeing on the couch, and 1000 points for the refused nap.

Red Pepper Soup with Black Bean “Meat”balls
Red Pepper Soup with Black Bean “Meat”balls
(And no, I won’t be accepting any comments about my math skills. Just don’t even go there.)
Red Pepper Soup with Black Bean “Meat”balls
Oh, and this was a refused nap after Charlotte fell asleep looking all adorable on the couch. I was trying to transfer her still-sleeping to her bed but then realized she had betrayed me.
They're so cute when they're asleep.

Here she is. This was before I discovered that she had wet herself, otherwise there would have been no nostalgic photographing. Just teeth clenching.

The worst part is that she TOLD me she had to go to the bathroom. It was the third time (3rd!!!) that she had gotten up from her “nap” to use the bathroom and I thought she was just trying to get out of her room. Now I have all kinds of mommy guilt.

Red Pepper Soup with Black Bean “Meat”balls

To top it off, a few minutes afterward she comes up with one of her totally-random-3-year-old-comments: “Sometimes mommy and daddy take care of me!” …aaaaaand sometimes they don’t. Oops.

But guess what guys! It’s been raining for days now! This is big news over here, California’s in a huge drought. I curled my hair the other day, then shook my fist at the rain when my curls went flat within 2.5 seconds of walking outside. And then I slapped myself in disgust.

Red Pepper Soup with Black Bean “Meat”balls

What’s on the menu with you guys lately? We’re having soup, soup, and more soup. Then we eat nothing else for days while I apologize to Eric for never cooking, then I finally break down and make more soup. There are worse ways to live I think.
Red Pepper Soup with Black Bean “Meat”balls
I’m in love this this Red Pepper Soup. And guess what guys, I took the easy way out. I used jarred roasted red peppers. And you know what? It tastes fabulous. Fresh-roasted would be amazing too, of course, but sometimes you just can’t argue with being able to open a jar and dump. The soup has tons of flavor from the garlic and onion and a little kick from the hot sauce.
Black Bean Meatballs2
Don’t skip the “meat”balls!!! They totally make it. I am so in love with this idea, and want to try it out with all different kinds of soup now. There’s no meat in it, it’s completely vegetarian, but it adds a little umph to an otherwise thin soup. I love the sun-dried-tomatoes, you won’t believe how much flavor they add. The “meat”balls get all crispy and irresistible on the outside when you fry them, and it pairs perfectly with the red pepper. Love!
Red Pepper Soup with Black Bean “Meat”balls

This would be a fun dish to make together for Valentine’s Day. (Not with me, silly, with your man) It’s easy, pretty fast (45 minutes, tops) and is even bright red if you’re feeling festive.

Come back on Thursday for our #GalentinesDayParty! I’ll be providing links so you can check out what some of my bloggy friends will be bringing to the party where we celebrate our gals :) I will be contributing a secret-ingredient dessert. Head over to my Facebook page to see the picture and guess what it is! (Hint: it’s not Nutella!)

Do you guys give up? Or are you thirsty for more?

Red Pepper Soup with Black Bean "Meat"balls

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
This easy to make Red Pepper Soup with Black Bean "Meat"balls is so delicious, and full of flavor!


For the soup:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 1 16-oz jar roasted red peppers, undrained
  • 2 & 1/2 cups chicken broth, or vegetable
  • 2 sprigs thyme, or about a teaspoon dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • dash sriracha

For the "meat"balls:

  • 1 15-oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons basil, fresh, chopped
  • 3 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pepper , to taste
  • 2-4 tablespoons oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes
  • sour cream, or Greek yogurt, to garnish


  • In a wide-bottom pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onions when it is nice and hot. Cook until they are starting to get soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Crush the 3 cloves of garlic with the side of a knife. Add them whole to the onions and continue to cook until the onions and garlic are starting to brown, about another 5 minutes.
  • Add the 2 tablespoons of white wine (I used cooking wine) and cook until the liquid has mostly evaporated. It shouldn't take long, about a minute or so.
  • Add the entire jar of roasted red peppers, liquid and all. Don't worry about chopping them.
  • Add 2 1/2 cups of chicken broth and 2 sprigs of thyme, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook for about 20 minutes.
  • Remove the soup from the heat and discard the thyme stems. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup very well.
  • If you don't have an immersion blender, let cool slightly then transfer the soup to a blender. Put the lid on, but leave the top spout open so that steam can escape. Hold a towel over the top with your hand and blend until smooth.Transfer the soup back to the pot and heat it up again.
  • Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add a dash of hot sauce if you want (taste it first).
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the drained black beans, basil, sun-dried tomatoes, panko bread crumbs, egg, paprika, salt, and pepper. Use a potato masher to combine the mixture and smoosh the beans.
  • Form the bean mixture into 25-30 "meatballs." In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes (or just use regular oil). Add the "meatballs" when it is hot, cooking in batches if necessary. Cook for a minute or two, until browned, then gently turn them with a spatula. Continue cooking and turning until all sides are browned. Repeat with the remaining "meatballs."
  • Ladle the soup into 4 bowls and top with meatballs. Garnish with fresh basil, thyme, sour cream, or Greek yogurt. It also tastes good with some fresh parmesan on top.


Source: The Food Charlatan, inspired by Don't Milk It.


Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 105kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 1180mg | Potassium: 347mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 685IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Calories: 105
Keyword: black bean, meatball, Red Peppers, soup
Did you make this? I'd love to see it!Mention @thefoodcharlatan or tag #thefoodcharlatan!

Red Pepper Soup with Black Bean “Meat”ballsNo need to chop the onions; you’re going to puree it anyway. Just slicing is fine.

Red Pepper Soup with Black Bean “Meat”ballsMmmm garlic makes everything amazing.

Red Pepper Soup with Black Bean “Meat”ballsGrab a jar of roasted red bell peppers.

Red Pepper Soup with Black Bean “Meat”balls


Throw em in. No need to chop.

Red Pepper Soup with Black Bean “Meat”ballsAfter you puree, don’t forget the hot sauce! Best part! I love using sriracha but any kind will do.

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    1. Thanks Diane! Nothing like a bowl of soup right? Especially a bright red one just to make you feel festive :)

  1. Oh I’m so sorry Karen for the rough day! Being a mom is awesome, but definitely not easy!! These soup sure looks amazing. I am obsessed with the fact that those meatballs are made with black beans!

    1. Muddy Buddy Cupcakes???? I’m sorry I’m trying to focus on responding to what you said, but I can’t, so I’m just going over to our blog to see what this is all about! :)

  2. Wow, you are killing me with your soups… in a good way :). Love the color of this soup and talk about those “meatballs” – such a genius idea!. Thanks for making meal planning so easy for me!

    1. Thanks Kathi! It is kind of fun eating something that’s so vibrant, right? And YES, definitely try the meatballs, life changing!

  3. I’m loving the “meat” ball without any actual meat. The soup also looks amazing… now on to your rain… Don’t feel to bad I have regretted any work on my hair since before Christmas. I get all done.. and then leave for work and am like I have to put a hat on because its what 8 degrees. Then I huff…. and have static hair for the rest of the day. Luckily I work with mostly guys who don’t notice hair.

    1. oh my gosh, 8 degrees. I would just quit work. I’d probably just quit life. Or at least life outside. You are a stronger woman than me.

  4. This looks so good, we’ll have to make this together sometime. I’m very curious about these black bean meatballs – you know how open-minded I am!

    1. WOW mom, I’m super impressed. For someone who would rather poke herself in the eye than eat beans, I’ll accept this as progress.

  5. Oh my gosh, this post had me cracking up the whole time. I think you should go get yourself a mani/pedi and pour yourself a big fat glass of wine and leave the kids and hubs with soup again. :) This soup looks awesome, I’m LOVING the “meatballs”!!!

    1. I am SO all about this idea Nicole! Here, Eric, if you combine the last 1/2 cup dregs of all the 1,298 episodes of soup over the last few weeks, you will have a decent meal. :)

  6. I’m pretty in love that these are made with black beans, something I’m crazy obsessed with! These look incredible!

    1. Black Bean Brownies Pamela????? Heading over!! PS I know, I’m obsessed too. I pulled out my last can last night for yet another last minute I-forgot-to-make-dinner meal and couldn’t believe that I had actually run out. My cupboard usually has about 15 cans at least. Just in case.

  7. This color is gorgeous Karen! Love that bright red. And I’m totally there with you about using jarred. It’s so much easier.

    1. Thanks Natalie! It’s is pretty red, right? Perfect for this week…Just don’t puree this with an immersion blender wearing a white shirt. Just sayin.

  8. Oh my gosh, Karen, your story is cracking me up. I’m sure you’re such a great great mom! Don’t you worry. :) Also, this looks fantastic! I love love love all things red pepper and all things black bean so this is making me drool. Pinned for sure!

    1. Aw thanks Erin! It’s nice hearing that from other people and not just the good angel on my shoulder :)

      And aren’t black beans the best? They make pretty much everything amazing. And they’re cheap. Can’t argue with that.

  9. Ugh, Mom guilt! Do not even get me started on that. But it happens to all of us, lol! I #momfail all the time. But this soup…oh my gosh…I might need to make it next Monday for our Meatless Monday dinner. Looks amazing! I’m making Josh eat Garden burgers tonight and not the homemade kind either, lol! I happen to love them and he hates them. But I’m to lazy to figure out how to make a good one. So frozen veggie patties for our meatless Monday it is tonight! Yay for rain for you guys!

    1. Thanks Chels! Glad to know I’m not the only one. I’m so impressed with your dedication to meatless mondays! i’ve never had those Garden burgers. A few years ago i would have scoffed, but I’ve made a mean black bean burger before, so now i know better. Let me know if you make the soup!

  10. Awww…sorry to hear about your rough day! But ummm…this soup? Are you kidding me?!?! This looks so fantastic that I just added all of the ingredients to my next grocery list. I was just instantly like WANTWANTWANTWANTWANT.

    1. Thanks Lori! I was seriously thinking of your soup-making essay as I made this: soup is just a flavorant Karen, don’t add too much, Lori said!!!

  11. I would wrestle with a ravenous crocodile before living with a 2 12/ or 3 year old again. They are ROUGH. There’s about eight months of peeing, crying, tantrum throwing, whining (oh mylanta the whining), and nap dropping. It’s enough to make you curse like a sailor.
    Be strong. This too shall pass. (Eventually.) Just eat the pain away. (Yes. Toddler induced obesity. It’s real.)

    1. Bahaha! Toddler-induced obesity. I am blaming ALL of my weight gain on Charlotte, starting now. And thanks for understanding Ami…I know if you can get through it I can too! Ra-ra go team!

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