PREP: 20 minutes roast: 30 minutes COOK: 5 minutes OVEN: 425°F MAKES 4 servings
• 8 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
• 4 leeks, coarsely cut up
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1⁄2 teaspoon fennel seeds
• 2 14-ounce cans vegetable broth
• 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
• 1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1 teaspoon lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. In a 15x10x1-inch baking pan combine carrots and leeks. Drizzle with olive oil; toss to coat. Roast, uncovered, about 30 minutes or until tender, stirring once.
2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet toast fennel seeds over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes or until toasted and aromatic. Use a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle to grind seeds.
3. In a large saucepan combine roasted vegetables, ground fennel, broth, salt, and pepper. Bring to boiling. Remove from heat; cool slightly.
4. In a blender or food processor add half of the vegetable mixture. Cover and blend or process until almost smooth. Repeat with remaining vegetable mixture. Return all of the soup to the saucepan. Stir in lemon juice. Heat through.
PER SERVING: 180 cal., 7 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 1,136 mg sodium, 27 g carb., 5 g fiber, 3 g pro.
Dress up a simple soup with a flavorful garnish. Add a spoonful of pesto, a sprig of fresh herbs, a sprinkle of cheese, or a little fresh salsa.