Red Pepper, Leek and Potato Soup

2 red peppers
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cups leeks (washed thoroughly and diced
8 cups potatoes (peeled and chopped)
6 cups chicken broth
1 sprig thyme
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper

Roast red pepper under the broiler until the skin is blackened. Place in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Wait ten minutes then peel off the skin. Remove seeds, ribs and stems. Chop up.

Melt butter and olive oil in a big pot over medium heat. Add red peppers and leeks and sauté for 5-10 minutes, until leeks are softened.

Add potatoes, broth and thyme. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Puree with a handheld blender and strain thru a medium sieve. Puree solids in a blender or food processor. Keep collecting the liquids and blending the solids. Transfer the solids from the blender into a clean pot and do this until all the solids have been blended. Add as much of the liquids as necessary to get to the desired soup thickness. Place over medium-low heat.

Heat heavy cream in the microwave for 1 minute on half power. Add warm cream to the soup and stir until no white streaks remain. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle a bowl full of soup with chives.

Recipe from from the book "Vegetables" by the Culinary Institute of America.