Red Pepper Bisque
Adapted from Bon Appetit
4-5 large red bell peppers ( I have also used a mix of red and yellow and that works well too)
3 1/2 cups chicken low-salt chicken broth (2 cans)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup finely grated Romano cheese
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt, pepper to taste
basil for garnish (optional)
Char your bell peppers over a gas flame using tongs to turn and make sure you get all the sides pretty black and charred. Cover them for about 15 minutes so they become soft so you can peel the skin off. I've heard of different ways to do this, I usually out them in a bowl and cover them with dish towels and a plastic bag... i think I may have seen my mother do this, but do whatever works for you! Peel and seed the peppers and cut them into small chunks. Combine your peppers and chicken broth in a large saucepan. Boil, then reduce heat and simmer until peppers are tender, about 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat and in batches, puree the soup in blender until smooth. Be patient and be very CAREFUL! You don't want to splatter scalding hot broth all over, so small batches work nicely. If you have a cheap blender like I do, you might want to cover the top with a dish towel and press down on the lid so it doesn't spray stuff when you start it. Return blended soup to your saucepan. Mix in paprika, sugar and red pepper flakes. Simmer 5 minutes to blend flavors. With a whisk, mix in the cream and Romano cheese, make sure cheese has melted before adding salt. Season to taste with salt and pepper, garnish with basil and if you like, serve with toasty bread.