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Red pepper Bisque

INGREDIENTS:

1 leek or onion, finely chopped

1 large or 2 medium potatoes, cubed

4-5 sweet peppers, deseeded and chopped

2-4 cups chicken or veg. broth

1-2 c. heavy cream or cream sauce*

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2-4 tbsp. butter

Optional: 1 lb scallops or shrimp, rinsed and drained**

 METHOD:

Melt butter in soup pot. Add leeks and cook for a few minutes. Add potato and broth, enough to cover potatoes well. Cook covered on med. heat until potatoes are nearly tender. Add peppers and cook about 5 minutes more, until both peppers and potatoes are tender. Remove from heat. Add cream and puree soup, adding more stock or cream to desired consistency and to taste. Add salt and pepper to taste. *Put pot back on burner, on low heat, until heated through.

*For vegetarian version, serve now with some good bread and salad.

*For optional seafood addition, add scallops/shrimp at this point and cook a few minutes more, until scallops/shrimp are thoroughly cooked, but still tender.

Serves 4-6.

NOTE: If you do not have cream on hand, you can make cream sauce. Melt 2-4 tbsp. butter in a pot. Add 2-4 tbsp. flour and whisk. Add 1-2 cups milk and cook over med. high heat, stirring all the while, until thickened. (More butter and flour makes a thicker sauce, less makes a thinner sauce.)