Fall is the perfect time for casual, cozy get-togethers and a soup party provides the perfect menu. On a Saturday night after a long week, or for a relaxing Sunday lunch, a soup party is a chance to share a good time with your friends before the snow hits and general hibernation begins. If you happen to live where you escape winter weather, that’s all the more reason to enjoy and indulge in fall color and customs.
Host a Saturday Night Soup Supper
Put that giant soup pot in your pantry to good use. Invite friends over for a big batch of do-it-yourself vegetable soup. Ask each guest to bring an assigned vegetable, such as leeks, garlic, potatoes, carrots, onions, green beans, tomatoes, celery or zucchini. The more veggies, the better!
Set a big pot of chicken or vegetable broth on simmer, and then the fun starts. Everyone pitches in, chopping and chatting. All the chopped vegetables go in the pot. While your creation cooks, take a break and enjoy a festive cocktail like the Apple Mule or a Pumpkin Spice Old Fashioned and a big platter of crackers and cheese. When the soup is ready, bring out a big basket of warm, crusty bread and you’re all set.
For a fun culinary arts and letters theme, add a box of alphabet pasta to the soup and have a Scrabble tournament after dinner.
Propose a Potluck for Sunday Lunch
Invite three or four friends to a casual Sunday gathering. Ask them to bring a crock pot of their favorite soup and the recipe to share. For an easy salad to get things started, try a Pear Salad with Crispy Prosciutto.
Just like wine or beer flights, you can feature soup flights! Provide each guest with small bowls for sampling the different soups; 4-ounce glass mason jars are an ideal solution.
For dessert, a fall treat like a Pumpkin Cream Tart with Gingersnap Crust gives a memorable finishing touch.
Add a Garnish Bar to Top It Off
A colorful array of toppings is a terrific addition to any soup party. Garnish bars are easy to put together and make a great conversation starter. For a playful and practical approach, lay brown butcher paper over your table and use a marker to draw arrows and add descriptions for each of the toppings.
Here are some great garnish bar options:
- Sour cream or yogurt
- Fresh herbs like dill, Italian parsley, chives, cilantro
- Fresh grated Parmesan or Asiago
- Shaved prosciutto or chopped ham
- Fresh lemon and lime wedges
- Chopped onions, scallions or tomatoes
- Toasted pumpkin or sesame seeds, pignoli nuts or chopped almonds
- Grated ginger
- Fresh salsa or pico de gallo
- Toasted croutons
- Sriracha and chili sauces
- Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling