Fruits & Veggies Monday {Soup Swap Party!}

Happy Monday my friends! Coming up this week we have Thanksgiving here in the US, so it is a good time to once again say how thankful I am for all of you! I am so lucky to have made many dear friends, especially my wonderful #fruitsandveggiesmonday family! @lenasveganliving's contest continues to bring endless amounts of joy to my Mondays every week. Thank you Lena for keeping us going and to everyone who joins in for sharing such wonderful food from all over!

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My entry this week follows the theme of friendship with a little recap of the party I hosted yesterday. We only had a small crowd since everyone is quite busy getting ready for the holiday this week, but I actually enjoyed it as I got to spend quality time with those who were able to make it. Since many of us end up having to help cook for the big day on Thursday and often end up overeating lots of rich foods, I wanted to do something to start off the week in a healthier manner. Everyone who came brought a pot of soup to share! Then we divvied up the leftovers so that everyone had some to bring home and make it easier by not having to cook until Thanksgiving.

I was really pleased with how much fun it was and how each soup was different. Not everyone made a fully vegan soup, but I will share the ones that were with you all today. Even the ones that weren't gave me some ideas to transform into vegan-friendly versions later on. 😉

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First up I made a beet soup in the slow cooker. I knew there was a possibility my sister might come, and another guest has issues with onions so I opted for a version with fennel instead of onions. You all should know by now I love fennel anyway. I also had kohlrabi, carrots, celery and beets from my beloved farmers market to put into the pot. I chopped all those up then put them in the slow cooker with a cup of red lentils, veggie broth, a few bay leaves and this seasoning blend I had a sample of from Penzey's. It had cinnamon, marjoram, garlic, nutmeg and a few other spices. Super easy yet mighty delicious!

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My parents came and brought my niece, so my dad made one of the crowd favorites of the afternoon--a chili that he added slightly more liquid to so it was a little more soup-like. I think he used a recipe from The Minimalist Baker and made just a few tweaks to it. I'm happy to have some of that left to eat these next few days. You can never go wrong with sweet potatoes and beans in my opinion!

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Another friend made a simple yet classic butternut squash soup. Coincidentally her boyfriend really dislikes that type of squash, so she was happy to have an excuse to make it so she could enjoy it. I actually ended up eating a bowl of it with some avocado toast for breakfast this morning. That might end up being a new cold weather breakfast because it was quite a nice way to start out the day. I think hers was basically onions, squash, broth and some spices.

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Though we had plenty of soup to fill our bellies, I couldn't resist making some hummus with the abundance of fennel fronds I had left. I think my chickpeas could have used a little longer in the pot when I cooked them, so my dip ended up a little chunkier than usual. Despite it not being as creamy as I usually like, the flavors did not disappoint. I used chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, fennel fronds, oregano and a bit of basil. Herbs make everything better!

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I will definitely do a party like this again in the future! It was a lot of fun to see what everyone brought, and I think they all enjoyed getting to take home some different options, as well. It's nice to be able to "party" with vegetables taking center stage! 🥕 As a master meal prepper it definitely makes my heart happy to have enjoyed bringing a little element of my usual Sunday meal prep to share with my loved ones! Now I'll have plenty of good fuel to keep me going while I finish up deciding how I'm putting together my Thanksgiving contributions.

Have a great week everyone!

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