3 dried sweet red peppers, (or substitute roasted red bell peppers)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, finely diced
2 green bell peppers, seeded and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons brandy
1 1/2 pounds new potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 leek, cleaned, white and light green part only, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 pound tomatoes, seeded and diced
5 cups fish stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 dried red chile pepper, such as ancho chile, halved and seeded
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds tuna steak, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
12 thin slices bread, cut from a baguette, toasted
If using dried peppers, remove the stem and seeds and soak in warm water for 1 hour, or until softened. Drain well, scrape off the flesh and discard skins. If using roasted peppers, remove the charred skin, stems and seeds, and chop. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large casserole. Add the onions and bell peppers and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute another minute to release the aromas. Cover the casserole tightly, reduce the heat to very low, and cook for 15 minutes.
Uncover the casserole and stir in the paprika and parsley. Increase the heat, add the brandy and flame it. When the flame dies down, stir in the potatoes, carrots, and leeks, and saute 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and saute 2 more minutes. Pour in the stock and wine, and add the chile pepper, and reserved dried pepper flesh. Season with salt and pepper, increase the heat and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.
Discard the chile pepper halves. Add the tuna to the soup, adjust the seasonings and simmer 3 to 5 minutes. Cover casserole and let sit 5 minutes.
To serve, ladle warm soup into individual bowls, and float a piece of toasted bread on the top.
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