Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the red onion and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the potato, cayenne, garlic, bay leaf, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and cook, stirring, until the potatoes are well coated, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the broth and bring to a simmer.
Add bell pepper and tomatoes, bring the mixture back to a simmer and cook until the potatoes and vegetables are tender, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a simmer, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, discard the bay leaf and let cool at least 5 minutes. Carefully puree until smooth with a handheld immersion blender or in 2 to 3 batches in a blender (do not fill the blender more than halfway full).
Reheat the soup and adjust the consistency with water if needed. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot with a sprinkle of parsley and almonds and a drizzle of oil.
When blending hot liquid, first let it cool for five minutes or so, then transfer it to a blender, filling only halfway. Put the lid on, leaving one corner open. Cover the lid with a kitchen towel to catch splatters, and pulse until smooth.
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