Potato, Leek & Cauliflower Soup

Spicy Potato, Leek & Cauliflower Soup with Roasted Red Pepper Puree
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 large leek
2 medium-size carrots, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 medium-size boiling potatoes (about 12 oz.), peeled and diced
2 cups cauliflower florets
Pinch of red pepper flakes
5 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Salt and pepper to taste
2 roasted red peppers

Remove the first one or two layers of a leek, cut in half lengthwise, and wash. Thinly slice the white and light green parts of the leek, setting aside 1/4 of the slices.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot set over medium-high heat. Add the larger portion of the leek slices, carrots, and 1 celery. Cook until the vegetables begin to soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Add diced potatoes, cauliflower florets, red pepper flakes, 5 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover the saucepan and let the mixture simmer until the potato and cauliflower are tender, 25-30 minutes.

In 3-4 batches, process the mixture in a blender until smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Reheat prior to serving.

Rinse out the blender and place roasted red peppers and 2 tablespoons vegetable or chicken broth in the blender. See my tutorial on how to roast a bell pepper. Blend until smooth.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet set over high heat. Add the reserved (small portion) of sliced leeks. Cook, stirring frequently, until the leeks are golden brown.

Divide the soup between 4 to 6 bowls. Gently spoon a large dollop of the roasted red pepper puree in the middle of each portion of soup. If desired, use a wooden skewer to make a decorative pattern with the pepper puree. Garnish each bowl of soup with fried leeks.

Makes 4-6 servings.

For more delicious soup recipes go to http://www.cookincanuck.com

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