3 tablespoons butter

3 cups thinly sliced onions (2 large or three medium)

1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

3 large red bell peppers

2/3 cup dry sherry

2 cups chicken stock

1/4 cup cream

additional salt

Roasted red pepper and caramelized onion soup

Caramelize the onions: In a large, heavy bottomed saute pan (with lid), melt the butter over low heat. Add the onions and sprinkle with salt. Stir until coated with the butter, and cover. Cook on lowest heat, covered, for about 2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes or so. Onions will soften, then slowly turn golden and then amber in color. They’ll lose volume and continue to darken, until you should end up with about 2/3 of cup of deep amber onions. Pour about a tablespoon of the sherry into the pan, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Set the onions aside.

Roast the peppers: Cut off the stem end and remove the core, ribs and seeds. Cut into 2 to 4 relatively flat pieces and lay skin side up on a sheet pan. Broil on high as close to the element as possible for 6-8 minutes, until skin is blistered and blackened. Or, place on a the grate of a gas burner (or use a pepper grate) and roast, turning occasionally to ensure even blackening. When peppers are done, place in a bowl and cover with a plate or plastic wrap for 10 minutes or so. For broiled pieces, scrape off the skins. For whole peppers, cut in half and remove core, seeds, and ribs, then scrape off the skins. Cut the peppers into large chunks.

Heat a medium sized heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onions, pepper chunks and sherry, and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes, until most of the sherry evaporates. Add the chicken stock and simmer, covered, for an additional 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Pour the soup into a blender and puree until smooth. (If soup is still hot, work in batches and be careful to hold the lid on firmly.) Pour the soup into a bowl through a medium tamis or sieve.

Return to the pot and bring just to a simmer. Add cream and stir to combine. Adjust salt, if necessary.

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