Thanksgiving whether the Canadian or American version is about family, friends, coming together and being thankful for what we have. Last year for the first time I hosted Thanksgiving dinner and I loved it. That’s not to say it wasn’t crazy, there were a few things I did so that I was able to pull it all off with my sanity intact. I love lists and schedules and I brought that into the mix, too bad I hadn’t started my bullet journal yet.
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My starting point was drafting a list of all the dishes that I would be serving and who was responsible for them. Desserts would be handled by my friend KC (she also picked up the turkey for me), Andrea would bring the homemade cranberry sauce (along with serving dishes and spoons which was a godsend) and stuffing. The rest as they say was on me! So lets jump into the details of what was put on the table.
Here is my list of what would be served…at the Friendsgiving 2018
- Roasted Red Pepper and Sweet Potato soup
- Maple Roasted Turkey and Gravy
- Slow cooker mashed potatoes
- Roasted potatoes
- Maple carrots
- Spaghetti squash
- Garlic green beans
- Homemade bread
- Cranberry sauce and stuffing (courtesy of Andrea)
- Apple crisp and pumpkin pie (courtesy of KC)
Some of the dishes were courtesy of other bloggers recipes and a few were my own. In this post I wanted to share my roasted red pepper and sweet potato soup recipe. Its delicious and has the added benefit of being Whole 30 and vegan! One of my my guests had 3 bowls and took some to go, I’ll take that as high praise! Before I jump into the soup, I’d like to mention some of the other deliciousness that we enjoyed.
One thing that made a huge difference yesterday and helped keep my sanity was coming across this recipe from Little Spice Jar for these slow cooker roasted garlic mashed potatoes. It was a game changer! Not having to clutter up my already very busy stove, all I had to do was prep it all and then set it and forget it…and damn they were delicious! And I do love me some roasted garlic.
I can’t begin to explain the smell that comes out of the kitchen when you are roasting garlic…IT IS AMAZING! Something magical happens to garlic when you roast it…it goes from hard and strong and it becomes golden, buttery, caramelized, smooth and gentle in its flavour.
I also channeled my mum and made some roasted potatoes….British style. For that I went to my go to recipe from BBC Good food and their ultimate roast potato recipe. They were amazing….just like my mum used to make, crispy on the outside and all squishy on the inside….Yum! The green beans were simple, I just boiled them for 5 minutes and then melted some butter over them and threw in some garlic and called it a day.
For the carrots I relied on this recipe from allrecipes.com for the maple glazed carrots. The bread was courtesy of my mother-in-law and I will post it in a future post. The turkey was simple, give it a rinse and pat it dry. Under they skin I put some maple butter with thyme and rosemary. I threw some carrots, and celery and fingerling potatoes from the garden with a touch of chicken stock to get it all started. Then every 30 minutes I basted it with maple syrup…hello…can you say yum! So very Canadian eh?
Now without further ado, let me share my recipe for this velvety smooth soup…
The peppers needs to be washed and dried and then rubbed all over with some of the olive oil. This will help the skin to crisp up while in the oven so that it is easier to remove (kind of). If you don’t want to go through this step you can always buy roasted red peppers and save yourself the headache, but I am a glutton for punishment so I like to roast them myself. So once they are greased up pop them onto a lined cookie sheet.
With that done we need to peel and chop the sweet potato and onions. So pull out your goggles and get chopping. Once done add them into a bowl and pour half of the remaining olive oil over them and season with salt and pepper and toss to coat with oil. Add them onto the same cookie sheet as the red peppers and pop it all into the oven for 25-30 minutes.
Once the time is up, test the largest piece of sweet potato with a fork to make sure they are tender and then set aside. We still have to deal with the red peppers. So once they are cool enough you can carefully peel off the skin and remove the stem and seeds. Then in a heavy-bottomed pot (preferably cast iron) heat the remaining oil and then add the chopped celery and carrots and cook for about 5 minutes. Once they have softened you can add in the garlic, red peppers, sweet potatoes and onions and cook for another 5 minutes.
Once the vegetables have started to soften then add in the vegetable broth and bring it to a boil. Once it reaches a rolling boil, reduce the temperature to a simmer. Leave it cooking, uncovered for about 20 minutes. I really like this organic vegetable broth but you can use any, or better yet make your own from kitchen scraps.
Once done, then remove from the heat and using an immersion blender, puree it until it is nice and smooth. Now the next step is optional but I really think it takes this (or any) soup to the next level. I (carefully) run the hot soup through the food mill.
This helps to get out any lumps that may have been missed by the immersion blender. If you happen to have a Vitamix or Blendtec then lucky you! This also means you can skip the immersion blender and the food mill and just use the blender. Once smooth, put the soup back into the pot and mix in the coconut milk and stir to combine. Then serve it up pipping hot and enjoy!
Roasted Red Pepper & Sweet Potato Soup (Vegan, Whole30)
- Cast iron pot (or other heavy bottomed pot)
- Wooden spoon
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Cookie sheet
- Immersion blender
- Food mill (optional)
- 3 Red peppers
- 2 Sweet potatoes (Peeled and chopped)
- 1 Onion (chopped)
- ¼ Cup Olive oil
- ½ Tsp Salt
- ¼ Tsp Freshly ground pepper
- 1 Cup Celery (chopped)
- ½ Cup Carrots (chopped)
- 4 Cloves Garlic (chopped)
- 900 mL Vegetable broth
- 1 Cup Coconut milk
- Remove and random pots and pans from your oven.
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Wash and dry the red peppers.
- Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and use some of the oil to fully coat each of the peppers and lay them on the cookie sheet.
- In a bowl put the onion and sweet potato and add half the remaining oil, salt and pepper and mix.
- Add sweet potato and onion mixture to the cookie sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes, then set aside.
- When the red peppers have cooled, you can remove the skins, stem and seeds.
- Heat the rest of the oil in a large heavy bottom pot (preferably cast iron), add celery, carrots and cook for about 5-6 minutes.
- Then add the garlic, red peppers, sweet potatos, onions and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add in the vegetable broth and bring it up to a boil, once it boils then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes uncovered.
- Remove from the heat and using an immersion blender, puree until it is very smooth.
- Optional step – Carefully transfer the hot mixture to the food mill and run all the mixture through (this helps make it velvety smooth).
- Return the mixture to the pot and add the coconut milk, taste and add salt and pepper as necessary and serve hot.