2 shallots -- minced
1 tablespoon diet margarine -- unsalted
1 1/2 pounds carrots -- cut in 1/2" dice
1/2 pound rhubarb -- cut in 1/2" pieces
1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth -- low or no fat
2 cups lowfat 1% milk
salt and pepper -- to taste 3 ounces sourdough bread (6 slices) -- cut 1/2 inch thick
1 teaspoon olive oil -- mixed with
2 teaspoons chicken broth
1 garlic clove -- peeled
1 teaspoon cinnamon -- freshly grated
6 sprigs fresh chervil -- for garish
1 tablespoon ricotta cheese, part skim milk -- optional flavoring
In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute the shallots in the butter-substitute until soft but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add the carrots and cook, stirring to prevent sticking, over medium-high heat for 10 to 12 minutes or until the carrots are just tender. Add the rhubarb and orange juice, cover, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes more.
Puree the carrot and rhubarb mixture with the broth in until smooth. Return to a clean saucepan and combine with the milk. Season with salt and pepper and the ricotta cheese, if using.
CROUTON (3 x 3 - inch piece): Preheat the oven to 350degF. Brush the bread on both sides with some olive oil and/or broth. Arrange on a baker's sheet in a single layer. Toast the bread until nicely browned on both sides in the oven. Rub the bread on one side with the garlic clove and dust with cinnamon.
To serve: put one slice of the bread in each warm bowl and ladle the hot soup over it. Serve immediately garnished with chervil. FOR 6 1/2-CUP SERVINGS 15.2% CFF 195-CALS, 3.6G FAT.
TIPS: * Cook the rhubarb soup in a nonreactive pan such as stainless steel, enameled cast iron, or anodized aluminum. * The soup may be made ahead (in the morning) and warmed thoroughly and gently while the bread is crisping. * Let the diners guess which vegetable accompanies the carrot. * Use your own Cinnamon Foccacia recipe. * Substitute fresh orange juice and add 1/2 teaspoon grated zest. * HERBS: tarragon, thyme, Italian parsley, cilantro.