Today’s post is in honor of something so frilly and dainty and white, my handful of male readers might want to put on their estrogen-protecting respirators. We’re going to a bridal shower!
I love being invited to showers, and I feel the need to point that out because some women seem to be so critical of them. There’s no need to comment on whether you think the location is over-the-top, to critique the bride’s choice of china and linens, or to complain that the timing doesn’t fit seamlessly into your schedule. Basically, take off your McJudge-y pants and be happy for your friend/sister/cousin/co-worker/husband’s second-cousin’s-neighbor, or whoever the bride may be. Get her a gift (preferably off her registry), show up in a cute outfit, and give those silly games your best shot. Finally, enjoy the fact that someone is treating you to a good meal – especially if the food was cooked by a group of fabulously talented food bloggers.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, this shower is a virtual one! Our celebration is honor of Kelsey, author of Apple a Day. Kelsey and I have “known” each other at least as long as we’ve both been blogging and I’m so thrilled that she’s about to walk down the aisle with the love of her life. The idea to host a virtual shower came from Amy, of Sing for Your Supper blog. All of Kelsey’s best food-blogging friends were invited, and with each of us contributing a signature recipe, it’s sure to be a delicious spread.
I love the idea of “pretty” food for a bridal shower, and to me there is nothing more girly and gorgeous than the bright magenta hue of beets. And while I have no qualms about indulging in treats and sweets when it comes to parties, I always appreciate a few healthier options to balance things out. That’s why I decided a spiced beet soup served in miniature dessert glasses would be a perfect addition to Kelsey’s shower. It took me two tries to get the recipe just right (regular readers might remember I shared a sneak peak last week) but I’m so glad I did. Roasting the beets really brings out their earthy, slightly-sweet flavor, which pairs beautifully with an array of warm spices including ginger, cinnamon, and a touch of cloves. Other reasons I love this soup for a shower? It’s one of those things that improves after a day or two in the fridge, allowing the flavors to engage and marry (hehe!) into something truly harmonious. So you can prepare it ahead of time and leave the day-of fussing to something else. Also, this soup does not need to be served piping hot. We actually found that it tasted a lot better once it had cooled down to a warm temperature. So it can certainly sit out for a bit while your guests are socializing and admiring all of the delicious options.
Speaking of those goodies, please head over to Amy’s or Kelsey’s blogs to see what they are and who made them. I’m excited to see them myself – I’ve heard rumors of goat cheese, shrimp, bellinis, and macarons, and that’s just touching the surface. Yum! Please be sure to thank Amy for hosting and to wish Kelsey a big congratulations too. Kelsey, I’m thrilled to be part of your celebration and wish you a life of happiness and good health with your soon-to-be hubby. Enjoy your special day!
One last thing – if you’re looking for the perfect dress to wear to a shower, why not enter my giveaway to win a free one from Shabby Apple!
2 large beets (about 1 3/4lbs total)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large red onion, sliced thinly (about 2 cups)
3 medium celery stalks, chopped
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons Chinese 5 spice powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 cups vegetable broth
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Trim and scrub the beets, and wrap each one in a piece of aluminum foil coated in cooking spray. Place the foil-wrapped beets in a baking dish, or simply on top of the oven racks. Roast for 1 hour, or until tender. Remove from oven and cool. (The beets can be roasted ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for a couple days.)
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and celery, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, unitl the onions are softened and beginning to caramelize.
Meanwhile, peel and dice the roasted beets.
Add the ginger to the pot with the onions and celery and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Add the diced beets and the remaining seasonings, stirring to combine. Pour in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook for about 25-30 minutes, until the vegetables are very tender.
Remove from heat, and let the soup cool down a bit. Puree the soup with an immersion blender, or in batches in a food processor or blender. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve warm.
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat: 3.9 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 513.3 mg
Total Carbs: 27.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 7.8 g
Protein: 4.2 g