A hearty, zesty and nutritious soup to welcome the fall. Can be made with cream or soy milk.
Cook the rice first. In a small saucepan, bring 1-1/4 cups water to a boil. Add 1/2 cup of dry, white rice. Covered and simmer for 15 minutes or until grains are tender and water is mostly gone (longer for brown rice).
Trim off the tough green end of leek, then slice leek lengthwise and rinse out. Slice leek halves into 1/4-inch slices.
Trim carrots, wash and slice diagonally. Peel sweet potato and cut into 1-inch cubes.
Melt butter (can use oil) in the soup pot and saute the leek until translucent but not brown. Add carrots and sweet potatoes and toss for 2 minutes on medium heat.
Add the garlic, ginger, stock and rice. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Cover and cook gently for 20 minutes or until the carrots are soft.
Puree the soup in a food processor or with a hand-held whisk. Add salt and pepper to taste.
When serving, put one tablespoon of soy or heavy cream in the middle of the bowl, and give it a gentle swirl.