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Soup Of Carrot, Bell Pepper And Saffron

2 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil

2 medium leeks, peeled and coarsely chopped (white and light green parts only)

1  pound carrots, peeled and sliced

1 bell pepper, seeded and diced

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon saffron

4 cups vegetable stock

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon salt or to taste, if desired

Saffron to garnish

Melt the butter in a medium (3-quart) saucepan on medium heat. Add the leeks and cook for about 6-7 minutes or until translucent.

Add the carrots, and bell pepper and cook for another 5-7 minutes or until the carrots begin to soften.

Add the turmeric, cayenne, coriander, saffron and mix well. Cook for another minute.

Add the stock and bring to a boil. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are very tender.

Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender.

Stir in the cream, salt and pepper and garnish with saffron.

Adapted from Modern Spice by Monica Bhide (Simon & Schuster, 2009)

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