Roasted Carrot and Beet Soup

Beets and carrots unite to produce a flavor that is exceptionally interesting and comforting. There just enough “kick” from the onion and black pepper, but if you want more, add a few dashes of cayenne.

Vegetable oil cooking spray
5 large carrots, peeled and sliced (3 cups)
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced (1 ½ cups)
1 large onion, quartered (2 cups)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoons black pepper
1 15-ounce can beets, rinsed and drained
3 14-ounce cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
½ cup reduced fat-sour cream for garnish snipped fresh chives for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with the cooking spray. Combine the carrots, celery and onion in the dish. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and pepper. Toss. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour, or until the carrots and the celery are fork tender.

In a food processor or blender, puree the roasted vegetables and beets with the broth in batches until smooth. Combine batches in a heavy 2-quart kettle. Heat the soup on medium-low until warmed through. Garnish with the sour cream and chives.

Note: Substitute 1 pound fresh beets for canned. Peel and chop; roast with other vegetables before pureeing.

Reprinted with permission from the American Dietetic Association's Cooking Healthy Across America (Wiley, 2004).

Yield: 8 (1-cup) appetizer servings, 4 (2-cup) main course servings
Nutrition Breakdown (2 cup portion): Calories: 220, Fat 8g (2g saturated fat), Cholesterol 10mg, Sodium 440mg, Carbohydrate 32g, Fiber 6g, Protein 8g
Carbohydrate Choice: 2 Carbohydrates