We all have those times when we're feeling like we're spending more than we'd like, eating more than we should, and running around more than we have the time. On the other hand, locking oneself in the closet while clutching onto our wallets isn't exactly a fun way to pass the time. Instead, we need to find a way to visit with friends that's easier on our waistlines, lighter on our wallets, and simpler for our schedules. A soup party may be the solution we need. The ingredients can be inexpensive, and many soup recipes can be prepared in advance or in a crockpot. In fact, many soups improve with time.
Setting the Stage
By its very nature, a soup party is a relaxed get together. A casual table is all you really need to set with placemats, large soup bowls, a small plate for bread and salad, forks, knives and soup spoons, and beverage glasses. A simple, seasonal floral arrangement would be nice, but a big basket of bread in the center of your table would be just as attractive.
Planning the Menu
When choosing your menu, you can make this party interesting with a few different soup selections, possibly two or three. Remember, the intention is not to make this difficult for yourself, merely fun and tasty for your guests. Choose recipes from a few different cuisines and you can make this an international soup tasting party!
By all means, purchase fresh loaves of bread to accompany this meal, but if you're feeling a little ambitious and own a bread machine, break it out for this party since it only takes ten minutes to toss the ingredients together for a home-baked loaf of bread. Finally, add a mixed salad to the menu, and make your own vinaigrette. It may take five extra minutes, but if you've never tried it, you'll be surprised by how easy it is to make, and how much better it tastes than most bottled dressings.
Soups for Thought
- Ribollita, Italian Bread Soup - This recipe should be made a day in advance for maximum flavor.
- Onion Soup - Seemingly decadent, this is an inexpensive classic that many will enjoy the opportunity to savor.
- Kotosoupa Avgolemono, Greek Chicken and Rice Soup with Egg and Lemon - Light, yet satisfying, this Greek variation on chicken soup is delicious.
- Egg Drop Soup - This comforting soup will bring you back to your childhood.
- Tom Yum Kung, Thai Spicy Soup - As long as you can find the specialty ingredients for this soup, it's really pretty easy to make and the result is a complex blend of flavors.
- Gazpacho, Andalusian Cold Tomato Soup - This soup is a refreshing, healthful change, and would be welcome by anyone who's feeling a bit overindulged.
- Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup - A favorite of old and young, no list of soup options would be complete without a Chicken Noodle Soup recipe.