Sunday, January 18, 2015

How I Host a Casual, Family-Friendly Soup Party

Blog stats don't lie ;) There are a lot of people out there searching for 
soup party tips and tricks.  Allow me to help you! 

*   *   *   *   *   * 

I don't have to tell you all the things there are to love about soup... things like they're easy one-pot dinners, are healthy, filling, tasty, and toasty warm.  You know all that.  But four years ago, my kids didn't.  Back then, when I decided I wanted to start serving more soups for family dinners, I also decided that I'd get my family "on board" with the idea by hosting our first Fall Soup Party.  Anything called a party could get their attention!  They sure were excited.  They helped me make invitations and decorations.  They helped set the table.  And they ate the soup - because after all, it was party food.   

Our first Fall Soup Party was a hit, and we've been hosting one annually ever since.

Are you thinking of having your own soup party??  I think you should!  It's so much fun, and it really is a great way to draw your family together around the table to share in the warmth of homemade, wholesome soup.  

I'm no professional party planner a la Martha Stewart.  But my Blogger stats are telling me that my fellow soup-lovers are always finding my blog when they search for "soup party ideas and how-to's."  So..... I can at least share with you how I do it!  Hope you get to host your own party soon and let me know if you do!  

(the photos throughout are a mix of 2013 and 2014 - just so you don't get confused :) )

Set the menu.
Choose  4 -6 soups to serve.

I typically choose six - 2 vegetable or pasta based soups, 2 chicken, and 2 beef.
I choose six because it's a good variety and I can keep six warm at one time - four on my stove-top burners and two in slow cookers.

Need some great soup ideas??  Check out The Soup Savvy Page for my up-coming series "10 Days of Family Friendly Soups" :)
(it will post end of January/beginning of February, 2015)

Prepare your soups the week before the party.

I typically buy all the ingredients I need in one grocery trip and cook similar soups at the same time.  For example, if I'm making two chicken soups, I'll cook the chicken breasts in the Crock Pot overnight,  shred the meat in the morning and make the two soups that day.

I usually don't have the fridge space to store six soups, so I freeze them in gallon-size plastic bags and thaw them in the fridge the day before the party.

Buy the "extras" the day before, or day of, the party.

I plan my extras according to what types of soup I'm serving.

Here are some toppings to consider:

salt/pepper (polite to put out on the table, but probably not necessary, since the soup you'll be serving will be delicious enough not to need them ;)  )

shredded cheese (cheddar, mixed Mexican, Parmesan, feta)

crusty french bread for dipping, corn bread, bread sticks, oyster crackers, croutons

sour cream

tortilla chips or tortilla strips

bacon bits

beverages - wine, beer, apple cider for the kids :)

Set the table.

Our soup party is in the fall, so I try to go with a seasonal centerpiece, place settings, or decorations the kids made.  

I intentionally set the table with small bowls to encourage small helpings of a variety of soups.  Small mugs would also work well :)

I love to use mason jars to set out the toppings and "extras" at the table.  I think it looks pretty, offers some visual continuity, and it saves table space (because a jar is usually narrower than a bowl...)  I'll put oyster crackers, croutons, shredded cheese, bacon bits in  various size jars...

This past year I made seasonal place cards that doubled as party favors, which I thought added a pretty touch :)

Other Ideas...

Don't forget to gather the opinions of your guests (especially the kids) on the soups.  With so many to choose from, they're bound to have a favorite!

If you have guests that are not your immediate family living in your own home, at the end of the night, gift them with an empty mason jar to fill with their favorite soup of the night.  It's a lovely way to send them home with a bit of the party and a heat n' eat lunch for the next day!

*   *   *   *   *   *

Hope you've gotten some new ideas or have been inspired to give the party a go!  Maybe you're even on your way to launching your own annual tradition!  Don't forget... I've got 10 great soup recipes coming up to help get you started! 

(series coming January/February 2015)


  1. I love this. I love that you throw a party for your family; so great. I LOVE soup, my husband not so much. But I am working on converting my girls so that I can make a big pot and enjoy it with them. Yum!

    1. I don't think it's my husband's first choice for a dinner either, but he's come to like what I make, especially when I let him have extra bread for dipping ;)

  2. I've never even heard of a soup party, but it sounds pretty awesome and easy to do! Even better, I think a potluck soup party would be awesome...I love trying other people's food. ;

    1. Oooooh! love the potluck idea! Like you, I love trying what other people make, especially if it's something I don't usually serve myself!

  3. i want to come to your soup party! i will leave all the kids at home. that won't be weird at all. just me. it looks so warm and inviting. you do the sweetest things for your fam!

    1. Aw, thanks, Nicole! Let's have another soup and craft night soon so we can combine the best of several worlds - friends, soup, and gettin' crafty :)

  4. Where have I been? I've never heard of a soup party! Now I want to host one for some friends!

    1. Oh! I hope you do, Jennifer!!
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  5. Brilliant!!! I have loved this idea since I first read it here. Can't wait for the series in February! (and man, I wish we could come to a party!)

  6. What a great idea and I love that you made them ahead and froze them. We love hosting parties, so I think we're going to give this a try.

  7. Oh my word, this is a fabulous idea! Our kids aren't as enthusiastic about soup as we are (One has actually dubbed soup the worst food on the planet, regardless of the kind of soup.), but the more I make, the more on board they become.
    I'm going to have to try this...once I figure out how to make 6 different kinds of soup. :)

  8. There are many summer party ideas to keep your event fast, easy and inexpensive. Floating candles in water are always fun for your table decor and you can use colored glass beads on the bottom or add a flower in the container as well.

  9. How much of each soup do you make? Some of our favorites barely last through one meal with three people... Do you double everything?

    1. Hi Megan! We eat a lot of soup. I usually double, triple, or quadruple recipes, and then freeze them in portions that are suitable for my family of 7 for one meal. All of the soup recipes on my Soup Savvy page make big batches. (A standard recipe found in a magazine, or something like that, usually doesn't feed my family. I usually start by doubling a new recipe, and then if we love it, I'll quadruple it next time and that will get us 2 meals plus leftovers for lunches.) Thanks for stopping by!

    2. I should clarify - for the soup party, I usually have LESS than a full recipe amoung out for the party. Last year there were 14 people there, and six soups. We didn't need huge amounts of each soup b/c everyone eats small samples of each. I also had bread, beverages, and an apple spiced cake for dessert, so no one went hungry :)


Like the old song says, "comments are a girl's best friend." Or something like that... So... leave a comment! I love chatting here! Pretend you're on my back porch, kick the broken plastic sandbox toys aside, sip your iced coffee, or beer, or (__fill in the blank with your beverage of choice__) and let's talk about all the things, because back-porch blogging is what I do!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...