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Roasted Red Pepper and Mushroom Soup

6 red bell peppers, roasted
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced, or more
4 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large baking potato, peeled and chopped
2 firm, ripe pears, peeled and chopped
6 or 7 large mushrooms, chopped
5 cups rich stock
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
salt and freshly ground pepper
Creme fraiche or sour cream and fresh herb sprigs for garnish

Roast and peel peppers. Halve, seed, and chop flesh.

Melt butter in a large pot; add onion and garlic and saut\xe9 for
10 minutes. Add carrots, potato, and red pepper; saut\xe9 about 10
more minutes. Add pears, stock, parsley and mushrooms. Bring to
a boil and simmer 20 minutes, until vegetables are just tender.
Season with salt and pepper.

Puree soup in batches in a food processor or blender. Return to
the pot and heat through.

Ladle into bowls and decoratively blat some sour cream or creme
fraiche onto the top. Sprinkle with herbs. I used chives. Thyme
would be nice.


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