- 4 medium red bell peppers
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 cups chopped leeks (white parts only, 4 to 5 leeks)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 2 Tbs. tomato paste
- 1 medium boiling Potato (1/4 lb.), peeled and cut into small cubes
- 41/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
- basil cream
1. To roast peppers: Place peppers directly on grate over gas burner. Turn heat to high, and cook until sides are blistered and charred, turning until peppers are black. Place charred peppers in paper bag. Seal bag, and let sit 15 to 20 minutes. When peppers are cool enough to handle, remove charred skin, using a paring knife if necessary. Alternatively, cut peppers in half, and remove stems, seeds and white membranes. Place cut-side down on greased baking sheet. Broil until evenly charred. Remove from broiler, and proceed as above.
2. In large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add leeks and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, pepper flakes and tomato paste, and cook, stirring often, 3 minutes. Add roasted peppers, Potato cubes and broth. Cover, and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, until Potato cubes are tender, about 15 minutes.
3. Transfer soup to blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Return soup to pot, add another 1/2 tsp. of salt, a sprinkling of freshly ground pepper and vinegar. Taste, and add more salt if desired. Serve hot with dollop of basil cream swirled into soup.