6 large yellow bell peppers
2 tablespoons sweet butter
1 large red onion, diced
2 medium leeks, white only, sliced horizontally
½ teaspoon sea salt
5 to 10 coarse grinds of fresh black pepper
3 small white potatoes, peeled and diced
6 cups broth*
2 to 3 tablespoons of fresh chives, minced OR a 3 tablespoons of basil or cilantro pesto
1. Roast the whole peppers either under the broiler or on the stovetop flame until the skin is well charred, approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Place the peppers in a plastic bag and seal for about 10 minutes. Rubbing with your fingers, peel the blistered skin off the peppers. Core, de-seed and chop the peppers and set them aside.
2. Place the butter in a good size pot and melt it over low heat.
3. Add the onions, leeks, salt, black pepper and sauté until the vegetables are soft, about 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Add the potatoes and the roasted peppers to the soup pot. Add the broth and bring the mixture to a low, but constant simmer (uncovered) until all the vegetables, especially the potatoes, are cooked through and tender, about 30 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and let come to room temperature.
6. Puree in a blender, in small batches of 2 to 3 cups at a time. Chill.
7. When ready to serve, spoon into serving bowls and either sprinkle with the fresh chives or swirl a teaspoon of pesto into the middle of each bowl.