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Leek Harvest Soup

1 red bell pepper -- for garnish
3 quarts rich chicken broth
2 large baking potatoes -- peeled, and cut into chunks
3 large leeks, white parts -- cleaned, chopped
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly-ground white pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Place the pepper on a baking sheet and roast uncovered 30 to 40 minutes, or until the skin begins to char and blister. Place the pepper in a paper bag, tie the bag at the top, and set aside to cool 20 minutes. Remove the stem, skin, and seeds from the pepper, then chop it, place in a small dish, cover, and set aside.

In a medium stockpot, bring the broth to a boll over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and cook over medium heat 10 to 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are somewhat tender. Remove from the stove, then using a potato masher, break the potatoes to look like a thick, chunky pudding. Add the leeks, and return the pot to the stove. Cook 15 minutes over medium heat, then add the parsley, chives, garlic, dill, salt, white pepper and oil, Lower heat and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the mixture from sticking to the pot.

Transfer to individual serving bowls, garnish with the peppers, and serve immediately. (Note: This soup can be stored in the freezer without the roasted peppers 3 months. Add the peppers when ready to serve.)

This recipe yields 8 cups; 6 to 8 servings.

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