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Carrot and Wild Rice Soup with Thyme

2 tb Canola oil
1 lg Leek -- thinly sliced
2 Garlic cloves -- minced
2 md Celery ribs -- finely chopped
1/2 lb Mushrooms -- thinly sliced
1 lb Carrots -- diced
1 qt Vegetable broth
1/2 c Fresh orange juice
1/2 c Dry sherry
1 tb Fresh thyme leaves, minced
1/4 c Calendula petals (Optional)
1 Bay leaf
1 c Cooked wild rice
Salt and pepper

LEEK: wash well and trim. Use white part only.

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large heavy pot, then add the leeks and garlic and cook, stirring, until the leeks are translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the celery mushrooms, and carrots and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often. Add the broth, orange juice, sherry, thyme, optional calendula petals, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the carrots are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the bay leaf, stir in the wild rice, and let simmer for another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

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