Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Soup Night

On a chilly evening, there’s nothing like a warm bowl of soup. And in the fall, soup is a perfect evening meal. It's not a meal you might think of often for when you have guests, but it's a great comfort food and could be perfect for a low-key evening with some close friends. Here are some tips for hosting Soup Night:

  • As host/hostess, you can make three of four different soups and “go-withs," such as breads, cheese, and crackers, so your guests may sample a variety.  
  • Each guest could even bring a pot of soup for sharing.  
  • Make it a contest! Each guest brings a different soup (you need to coordinate to ensure there are no duplicates), and everyone gets a ballot to vote for their favorite, with the winner receiving a prize. You can select one overall winner, or depending on the number of guests, you can have multiple categories. A cookbook or soup tureen makes a wonderful prize. 

Things to plan for and take into consideration when organizing Soup Night, if your guests will be bringing soups: 
  • Ask guests about any food allergies or restrictions ahead of time and let all your guests know if they need to avoid certain items.  
  • Make sure everyone brings enough soup for all the guests to have a taste.  
  • Think about how to keep all the soups warm throughout the gathering. You may ask your guests to bring their soups in a crock-pot or slow cooker, but make sure you have adequate outlets available.  
  • Make sure you have enough bowls and spoons on-hand! If you are going to have many soups to be tasted, consider using disposable bowls and spoons, or you will end up spending a lot of time washing dishes.  
  • Ask guests if they are willing to share their recipes. If so, have everyone bring their enough copies for all the guests. 

Here are a few quick and easy ideas/recipes for breads to go with your soups.  
  • Spread ranch dressing on bread, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and broil until topping starts to bubble.  
  • Spread softened butter on bread, then sprinkle with garlic powder and shredded cheddar cheese. Broil until cheese melts.  
  • Beat one egg, or an egg yolk with about a teaspoon of water, and brush it on crescent roll dough. Sprinkle with dry ranch salad dressing mix before rolling them up. Brush the outside of the rolls with the rest of the egg mixture and bake as directed.  
  • Make a mixture of mayonnaise (1/2 cup), grated parmesan cheese (also about ½ cup), and pinches of spices like garlic powder, dried oregano or basil, and spread this on to flattened buttermilk biscuit dough and bake as directed. 
  •  You can also purchase soft breadstick dough and just add some embellishments, like Italian seasoning and/or grated parmesan cheese.
  • Corn bread also complements certain types of soup. 
  • And a loaf of French bread with olive oil and spices for dipping is another good choice. 

Soup’s on! Enjoy!

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