This velvety sauce gets surprisingly creamy with puréed vegetables—no dairy needed. Of course, you can skip the puréeing if you’d like an even easier dish. Bonus: It freezes well. 

This recipe was developed by Kate Sherwood, The Healthy Cook. Have a comment, question, or idea? Email Kate at

Time: 30 minutes


  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. ground coriander or cumin
  • ¼ tsp. smoked paprika
  • a pinch allspice
  • 1½ cups chopped fresh tomatoes or 1 15 oz. can no-salt-added tomatoes
  • 2 15 oz. cans no-salt-added chickpeas, drained, with their liquid reserved
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • ¾ tsp. kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tsp. sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • cilantro and sliced chili peppers (optional), for garnish


  1. In a large pan over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Sauté the red pepper and onion until browned, 5-7 minutes. 
  2. Stir in the garlic. Sauté, stirring often, until golden, 1-2 minutes. 
  3. Stir in the spices and cook for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and the reserved chickpea liquid. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until tomatoes are softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a blender and process until smooth. (Make sure to vent the lid and hold it firmly with a towel because the steam from the sauce can pop the lid off.) Return to the pot and bring to a simmer.
  4. Add the chickpeas and green bell pepper. Return to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the salt, pepper, and vinegar. Serve with the garnishes, if using. 

Nutrition Information

Per serving: (1 cup):

  • Calories: 210
  • Total fat: 6 g
  • Sat fat: 0.5 g
  • Carbs: 29 g
  • Fiber: 7 g
  • Total sugar: 4 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 9 g
  • Sodium: 280 mg
HCK soups book cover


The Healthy Cook's Kitchen: Soup

The supermarket is full of canned soups. But, as far as your health...and your taste buds...are concerned, none can hold a candle to this collection of Healthy Cook Kate Sherwood’s favorite soup recipes. Not only are they lick-the-bowl delicious; they’re packed with vegetables, beans, and lentils. And Kate shows you tricks—Creamy Vegetable Soup without cream, Chicken Tortilla Soup using a store-bought rotisserie chicken—that will help you up your soup game.

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