As I mentioned earlier, Tim and I didn’t register for our wedding, but instead requested a framed picture of each person’s family to hang on our walls as presents for our shower. The lovely surprise at the showers were that everyone was invited to bring a recipe by the people responsible for planning the parties. Tim and I like to cook a lot, so this was a neat way for us to collect both new recipes and family favorites. (One cabbage-and-ramen-noodle salad recipe from my cousin in particular is a huge hit whenever we bring it places, especially church events!) For my second shower, the guests also wrote out pieces of advice for us, and I love flipping through the collection and getting that warm, fuzzy feeling.
A few weeks ago, even though the weather had warmed back up, sweet potato soup sounded great, so I turned to a version that had been given to us by my aunt which is spicy, sweet, and delicious. The secret is apple cider, which I am down with, because I am powerless to resist apple cider as soon as there is a nip in the air. (I substituted apple juice when I made it this time, but I’ve used cider in the past, and I’m determined to make that happen again soon.)
Look at those gorgeous roasted veggies. This soup is so easy to make. Dice up a few sweet potatoes (the recipe calls for 1 3/4 pounds, but getting close to that is fine) and a parsnip and roast them in the oven at 375 with some olive oil and garlic until soft. Then you blend the veggies with 4 cups of veggie stock (be careful when blending hot stuff, only fill the pitcher halfway or it can make the top pop off and burn your hands; usually blended soups have to happen in batches), which meant I got to bust out my immersion blender again. Transfer blended veggies and stock to a pot and add 1 cup of cider (or apple juice) and 1 tsp of Tabasco sauce to the soup and heat it through. The recipe tells you to garnish with diced granny smith apple, which I did the first time I made the recipe, but Tim and I decided it doesn’t add enough to bother with in the future. We generally have the Tabasco bottle sitting on the table to add a little more spice, but that’s because we like the heat. This recipe is delightfully hands-off, after you’ve diced up the veggies, so I can tackle whatever dishes are stacked in the sink, or I can just leaf through my recipe book and smile at the words of wisdom and love from my family and friends. Thanks, Aunt Dorothy, I’m pretty sure that our time spent on renovating our home counts as a common hobby!