The Fall Soup Party is one of my favorite traditions and deserves a fabulously well thought out post with flowery language and glossy professional photographs. But I couldn't manage that because life, being what it is, continues on and demands my attention even though there are fancy blog posts to write ;)
For now I've jotted down some somewhat organized/somewhat random thoughts and have included some not-so-professional photographs of this year's festivities. Enjoy!
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check out past posts on the party here:
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This year I didn't save all my soup making for one or two weekends. I've been making and freezing soup a little at a time since September.
Every year I try a few new soups, and this year was no different in that regard. Except... this was the year that I finally realized I don't need to keep searching. I made about 4 new soups, and only one was good enough to make again. We have 7-9 soups that are absolutely delicious and everyone loves, and the new ones I keep trying really don't hold a candle to them.
So for the first time, this year's party was only perennial favorites. Six of them. I didn't feel like I needed to feature anything new because our favorite soups are just so great :)
I did two new things this year in terms of prep work. I made my own chicken stock, about 3 1/2 gallons of it. I thought it turned out well and I'll definitely do it again, but the smell of chicken stock in the house for 2 days straight was a little overwhelming =) Also for the first time, I pre-cooked lots of meat in my Crock Pots. I cooked several pounds of ground beef overnight (some was for a soup and some was for casseroles) and the next night I cooked about 20 chicken breasts (again, some for soup and some for casseroles) It was such a time saver.
For the soup party, I had three soups pre-made and frozen ( which I defrosted the day of), two soups that I had made 1-2 before and stored in the fridge, and one I made the day of.
I crocheted these pretty cute pumpkins to use as place cards...
It was kind of slim pickings in the "fresh" flower department, but since I wasn't in the mood for mums or carnations, I decided to go for autumnal orange in tulips and roses.
I ran up to the attic to grab my pumpkin wreath at the last minute...
and the kids provided some soup "decor" to welcome our guests at the door...
The table was set with small bowls to encourage small helpings of a variety of soups :)
The kids got cider. (What? You're awesome, Mom!) And the adults enjoyed wine and the new Labatt Bourbon Barrel Ale (Soooo good. It tastes cozy.)
For the table, I put out salt and pepper (just a formality, though. My soups are so good, S & P are not needed ;) hehe) as well as pretty fall napkins, shredded Parmesan cheese, shredded mixed cheese, crusty french bread, oyster crackers, and three kinds of crunchy croutons. (Parties at which I've served "mexican" style soup, I've also put out tortilla chips and sour cream.)
|photo from my sister, Sarah :)|
Clearly, James missed the memo about acting liked he cared that this was his first soup party ;)
|photo from Sarah, again :)|
Dinner winding down...
The day of the party was also the 1st birthday of my nephew! I was so honored (and quite frankly, a little surprised) that he and his parents were OK with having a soup party on his big day. Turns out, he's been asking for a soup-themes party for the past year, so it worked out splendidly =)
Where are the pictures of the soup, you may ask. Coming :)
I'm still noticing new folks "finding me" on the interwebs by Googling things like "what to serve at a soup party," "how to host a soup party," and "soup that kids like." So of course I'm going to write that post because it appears it might help some people out there (hi! whoever you are!) and also because I never pass up an opportunity to chat about soup. Stay tuned.