Creamy Carrot & Rice Soup

Leeks are generally quite sandy and need to be washed before using. Trim the root end and the tough, dark-green leaves from the leeks. Then slice the leeks crosswise and place the slices in a big bowl of lukewarm water. Swish them around vigorously in the water and let stand for several minutes; the dirt will settle to the bottom of the bowl. With your fingers, lift the leeks out of the water. If they are particularly dirty, repeat the process, using fresh water.

1/2 cup rice
2-1/2 cups sliced carrots
1 large leek, sliced (about 2 cups)
1 large onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, peeled
One 1/4-inch slice fresh ginger, peeled
1 cup carrot juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup water
1/2 cup low-fat (1%) milk
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill

1 In a medium saucepan, cook the rice according to package directions, but omitting the salt. Remove from the heat.
2 Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the carrots, leek, onion, garlic, ginger, carrot juice, salt, pepper, and water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 10 minutes.
3 In a food processor or blender, puree the soup along with half the rice until smooth. Return to the large saucepan, stir in the milk and heat over medium heat.
4 Scoop the remaining rice into soup bowls, ladle the soup on top, and sprinkle with the dill. Makes 4 servings

Makes Makes 4 servings

Per serving: 193 calories, 0.9g total fat (0.3g saturated), 1mg cholesterol, 4.3g dietary fiber, 42g carbohydrate, 5g protein, 359mg sodium.