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What a fun evening! While we were up in Wisconsin, my mom and I both celebrated our birthdays! Since it was just the two of us (my dad was in Scotland), the family wanted to celebrate “for real” when we got home!

So tonight, both of my brothers and their wives came over and had a nice birthday dinner! It was so fun. They brought ingredients and cooked up a feast! There’s truly nothing better than enjoying the company of loved ones while dining on delicious dishes:)

the mushrooms add the perfect chewy bite!

When family is together, there will always be:
*lots of laughter
*potential pranks
*recalling embarrassing moments
*soulful jazz piano music (my brother is truly amazing – self-taught!)
*brie cheese and a baguette (I miss both terribly)
*and scotch

catchin’ some sun:)

Speaking of pranks, our family is a bunch of pranksters:) Consider it…a welcome to the family. For instance: the first time my brother’s wife came to visit while they were dating, we saran-wrapped her bed in the guest room! “Welcome! We’re glad you’re here!” haha All in good fun of course:) Luckily no pranks were pulled tonight!

So tonight for dinner, I had two goals. I wanted to make something for myself, so my sister-in-law wouldn’t have to worry about SCD-Legal ingredients. And, I wanted to make something that I could make ahead of time and then just heat up right before dinner so she could have free range of the kitchen.

What does that mean? It means SOUP! :)  Delicious soup to be exact.

Velvet Vegetable Soup!

I had a TON of veggies in the fridge from my grocery haul yesterday, so I simply combined a little of this, and a little of that and created a bomb-diggity vegetable soup!

And it’s Gluten Free, Vegan, Body Ecology Diet and Specific Carb Diet friendly!

mmm mmm mmm!

Here’s what you need: serves 2-3

1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 medium carrot (1/2 cup chopped)
1 celery stalk, diced
1 cup frozen artichoke hearts
1 stalk of broccoli, broken into florets (1 3/4 cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper
3 cups vegetable stock

3 shiitake mushrooms, sliced (garnish)
1 green onion, sliced (garnish)

In a dutch oven, saute your onions and carrots in 1 tsp EVOO, salt, pepper, and chili powder. Let them soften for about 3 minutes. Then, add your celery and let it cook for about 2 minutes. Stir in your broccoli, artichokes and garlic and let them cook for about 4 minutes. Add in your liquid, scraping the bottom to get all the “flavor bits” off the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 25 minutes, until tender.

Meanwhile, saute your mushrooms in a small frying pan. I just spritzed them with olive-oil and sautéed them for about 2 minutes.

Take the soup off the heat, and then carefully puree with a stick blender. If you don’t have a stick blender, you can use a regular blender, just be sure to do it carefully in batches since it is a hot liquid! Reseason with salt, and serve garnished with mushrooms and green onions!

wonderful texture and delicate flavor!

This soup was so comforting. Call me Plain Jane, but I just love a good bowl of soup. Feeling the warmth travel through your body is just so soothing. The flavor was so delicate with the broccoli and artichokes. There was just a subtle hint of spice from the chili powder, but nothing overpowering or overwhelming….juuuust right:)

what a dish!

The color wasn’t anything to write home about, but the texture sure was! It was SO silky and creamy — velvety! It was hard to believe that there wasn’t any cream or butter in it because it tasted so rich! And the chewy mushrooms provided just the perfect texture contrast with the silky pureed soup.

What are some of your favorite family get-togethers? Christmas? Thanksgiving? Fourth of July? Impromptu dinners?

See ya tomorrow!