1. Heat oil in a six-quart pot.
2. Add onion and sauté for five minutes, until translucent. Add garlic, pepper strips, and carrot and continue sautéing, over low heat, for 15 minutes, stirring often.
3. Add water, bay leaf, if using, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and cook for 30 minutes.
4. Remove from heat. Stir in almond butter. Blend with an immersion blender until thick and creamy, but tiny pieces of red pepper remain.
5. Place parsley, oil, and salt in the food processor with knife attachment. Process, scraping down bowl, until it comes together.
6. Garnish each serving with a dollop of parsley or stir it into the soup before serving. Sprinkle with paprika, if desired. This soup can be frozen.
Sautéing the onion in walnut oil, as opposed to olive oil, works well with the flavor profile of this soup, namely mild nut undertones.