Roast peppers: Turn burner to high. Impale a red pepper on a long-handled fork and hold over high heat, turning to char skin evenly. When skin is brown and crackly, immediately plunge pepper in a bowl of ice water; the skin will fall away. Repeat with remaining peppers. Seed peppers and chop coarsely. Alternatively, broil peppers in a preheated broiler 4 inches from element, turning to char all sides evenly.
Combine oil, onions, garlic, basil, salt, cayenne, 3 turns of pepper and roasted peppers in a medium saucepan. Cook 3 minutes over high heat. Stir in stock and 1/4 cup cream and bring to aboil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Purée red pepper mixture in food processor until smooth, about 2 minutes. Return red pepper soup to pan with remaining cream and heat on medium-low heat before serving, garnished with basil chiffonade.
Yield: 6 servings