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Roasted Celery Soup


8 large celery ribs, cut crosswise into 3-inch pieces
2 large garlic cloves, halved
1 medium onion, cut into ¼-inch slices
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¾ teaspoon salt, divided
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5½ cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
⅓ teaspoon celery seed, divided
1½ teaspoon lemon juice
¼ cup celery leaves, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray baking pan with cooking spray. Toss celery hearts, garlic, and onion with olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper; arrange on baking pan. Roast 40 to 45 minutes or until vegetables are almost tender and very lightly browned.

Scrape celery mixture into 6-quart saucepan. Add chicken broth, potato, ¼ teaspoon celery seed and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are very tender. Let mixture cool.

Transfer celery mixture in batches into blender or food processor. Cover; blend until smooth. Stir in lemon juice.

Divide soup between 6 mugs or bowls. Sprinkle with remaining celery seeds and garnish with fresh celery leaves, if desired.

Makes 6 servings.