Tri-Colour Stuffed Pepper Soup

"Take two frustrating attempts to make a different stuffed green pepper soup and a wonderful blizzardy day and you end up with a soup that mirrors a stuffed green pepper, exactly! There's nothing like dogged determination and lots of time to get something right. I wanted a rich sweet pepper soup that had the delicate flavour of tomatoes and the ability to bite into a meat/rice mixture, just like a real stuffed pepper. This recipe is two parts: first, the Porcupine Meatballs, which can be made a day or two ahead. Then, the Tri-Colour Pepper Soup, which is a stand alone soup that I've been making, and enjoying, for years. If you enjoy a lot of meat, you might want to double the meatball recipe; for our tastes, this is perfect, with 4-5 meatballs served in each bowl. The taste of this soup is quintessential 1950's style Stuffed Green Peppers. If you can tolerate more heat, then jazz it up to your hearts content! This way, you won't find the recipe "too bland", which is how we like it---pure comfort food straight from Leave It To Beaver. Enjoy the meatballs or enjoy the pepper soup, or, enjoy them blended together for the best of all worlds with this stuffed pepper soup! Using the three colours of peppers just adds some fun and depth to it."
photo by PleasantNancy photo by PleasantNancy
photo by PleasantNancy
photo by PleasantNancy photo by PleasantNancy
photo by PleasantNancy photo by PleasantNancy
photo by The_Swedish_Chef photo by The_Swedish_Chef
photo by The_Swedish_Chef photo by The_Swedish_Chef
Ready In:
1hr 30mins
8-10 cups


  • Ingredients for Porcupine Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 14 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, snipped (or 1/2 tablespoon dried parsley)
  • 2 tablespoons onions, chopped fine
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dash pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 (10 1/2 ounce) can tomato soup, minus 1/4 cup used with meat
  • 12 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Ingredients for Tri-Colour Pepper Soup

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 Spanish onion (chopped fine, mine was about 3-inch diameter)
  • 2 red peppers (cut into 1/2 inch wide by 1.5 inch long strips. My peppers were about 4 inch across)
  • 2 green peppers (see above)
  • 2 yellow peppers (or orange peppers, see above)
  • 4 cups chicken stock (I use Swanson brand)
  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes (I use Del Monte Petite Diced Tomatoes)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika


  • Directions for Porcupine Meatballs:.
  • Combine ground beef, rice, egg, parsley, onions, salt, pepper, 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce , and 1/4 cup of the tomato soup. Stir well to combine.
  • Lay out waxed paper or a platter to place the meat balls onto.
  • Using a tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop up a measure of the meat mixture and just lay out on the waxed paper. You will form them into perfect meat ball when you are done scooping them up. I get 30-31 meat balls from this recipe. When you are done scooping up the meatball mixture, form them into round balls.
  • Heat the tablespoon of butter in a large Texas skillet. Place meatballs in the fry pan and allow the bottoms to brown slightly before turning. I've found that a coffee scoop makes the perfect tool to turn the meatballs without them breaking into pieces. This will take about 5 minutes to slightly brown the sides.
  • While meatballs are browning, mix the rest of the tomato soup, water, and 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl and pour over meatballs.
  • Bring the tomato sauce to a boil in the skillet.
  • Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer 40 mintes or until meatballs are cooked and rice is soft, turning them every 5 minutes. This makes sure that all the rice has contact with the liquid so it plumps up.
  • When meatballs and sauce are done, take skillet off the heat and set aside. While you are preparing the Tri-Colour Pepper Soup, the meatballs will "set up" so they don't break up in the soup.
  • Directions for Tri-Colour Pepper Soup:.
  • Melt one tablespoon of the butter over medium heat in a large Dutch Oven. Sweat the onions for 5 minutes until translucent and slightly yellow. I keep them covered during this process. If necessary, add additional tablespoon of butter so the onions do not burn.
  • Add the three different coloured peppers, stirring well, to mix the soft onions and butter with the peppers. Set timer for 15 minutes; every 5 minutes, stir the peppers and onions and "taste test" the peppers to YOUR degree of doneness. We really enjoy a very soft pepper so it takes the full 15 minutes to achieve that texture.
  • Add the four cups of chicken broth, the can of diced tomatoes, and the teaspoon of paprika and stir well, until combined. Empty the entire skillet of reserved meatballs and the sauce they cooked in to the Dutch Oven, stirring gently so the meatballs don't break up.
  • Bring the soup to a boil, reduce down to a simmer and cover. Every 5 minutes, gently stir the soup. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Serve immediately.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Great Recipe!!!!! delish!
  2. I think I have died and gone to SOUP HEAVEN! Made exactly as directed and my family could not speak because they were too busy... well, eating, followed by compliments, Galore! The peppers add such a subtle sweetness to the broth and the meatballs, a heartiness that makes this dish a very pleasing and comforting meal. Thank you Swedie, we will enjoy this for years to come!!
  3. This was a very tasty soup. I made some changes to accommodate dietary restrictions. Since I can't have condensed tomato soup, I decided to just make my standard turkey meatball recipe, using rice as a binder instead of my traditional breadcrumbs. After baking off in the oven, I allowed the meatballs to simmer in a marinara sauce. Once the peppers were cooked to the tenderness of my liking (still with a little bite), I added the meatballs with all of the sauce along with the broth and diced tomatoes. We served this with a good handful of shredded cheese in each bowl. The flavors were very reminiscent of stuffed peppers, but I missed that texture of the rice so I think I'll add some to the soup next time. Thank you for posting!
  4. Swedie this was delicious! The only change I made was to brown the meatballs in the oven on my broiler pan. Thats only because I have a hard time keeping meatballs as balls unless I do them this way! This is delicious. I will no doubt be making this again! Thanks for a wonderful recipe! Now if only I had some good bread to eat with it. Thanks for sharing!
  5. Bee, I LOVED this soup, and so did my husband, but I did make some changes when preparing it. When I made the meat balls, I had to work with 1-1/4 lbs of ground beef, so I used 1/4 cup (plus 1 tablespoon) of the long grain rice, I added 1 extra large size egg, a 3/4 tablespoon of dried parsley, about 3 tablespoons of diced red onion, the 1/2 teaspoon of salt, an 1/8 teaspoon of pepper, and the teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce. I DID NOT add any of the tomato soup to the meatball mix tho. And when I made the meatballs, I rolled each into 1-1/8-inch in size, and that made 28 meatballs. I cooked the meatballs in a skillet which I sprayed it w/a no-stick cooking spray. Since I did not add any of the tomato soup to the meatball mix, I decided to add the whole can of soup, as well as a 1/2 cup of tomato sauce, a 3/4 cup of water, and 2 teaspoons of the Worcestershire sauce to the large pot that I was simmering the meatballs in for the 40 minutes. When I was saute'ing the onion and peppers, I used what peppers I had on hand, which was...1 large green bell pepper, 1/2 of a large red bell pepper, and 1/2 of a large yellow bell pepper, which I diced them into 1/4-inch pieces, and I only saute'd the onions and peppers for exactly 10 minutes over medium heat. After adding the onion and peppers to the meatballs and tomato soup/sauce in the pot, I then added 2-(14 oz.) cans of reduced sodium broth, a 3/4 teaspoon of paprika, 1-(14.5 oz) can of diced tomatoes with green chilies, plus I added a 1/2 cup of long grain white rice. I simmered the soup as directed (for 30 mins) but DID NOT remove the lid to stir the soup, so the rice would cook through throughly. After the 30 minutes were up, I then checked the soup and saw it had thickened slightly, so I added another (14-oz.) can of chicken broth, and finished heating the soup, which only took a couple minutes. Mmm, the soup tasted great!! Thank you Swedish_Chef for posting this recipe. I have never made a stuffed pepper soup, but always wanted to, and your recipe helped me off to a good start.


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